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Nurse will have new contract with Oilers before season, GM Chiarelli says

Restricted free agent defenseman is 'player we want to get signed and we will sign'

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Darnell Nurse will have a new contract with the Edmonton Oilers prior to the season, general manager Peter Chiarelli said Tuesday.

"He is a player we want to get signed and we will sign," Chiarelli told 630 CHED.

Nurse, a restricted free agent defenseman, had NHL career highs in goals (six), assists (20), points (26), rating (plus-15), shots on goal (194) and ice time per game (22:15) in 2017-18.

Video: EDM@VGK: Nurse wins it in OT for the Oilers

The 23-year-old defenseman was selected by Edmonton in the first round (No. 7) of the 2013 NHL Draft. He has 47 points (14 goals, 33 assists) in 197 regular-season games and two assists in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"There are just different leverage points and it's no accident that there is a long list of restricted free agents [in the NHL]," Chiarelli said. "It happens every year and Darnell is in that group."

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl was in a similar situation last offseason, and he signed an eight-year, $68 million contract with Edmonton as a restricted free agent Aug. 16, 2017.

"We keep a consistent dialogue, but there's a little bit of a lull," Chiarelli said. "Generally, they're important players if you look at the list and the teams keep working away at it. It's not really in the limelight and you don't hear about it because it's a bit of a slower process."

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