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Nurse, Barkov to sit out fitness portion of Combine

by Mike G. Morreale

Injuries late in the season and subsequent surgery for prospects Aleksander Barkov of Tappara in Finland and Darnell Nurse of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League will keep both players from participating in the fitness portion of the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine, scheduled May 31 and June 1 at Toronto International Centre.


Both players currently are rehabilitating from postseason surgeries and will attend the Combine to interview with NHL scouts and general managers during the six-day event that begins May 27. While both players will undergo medical examinations, they will forego any physical fitness testing.

Barkov, a center, sustained an upper-body injury on the first shift of his team's playoff game against IFK Helsinki on March 27 and was sidelined the remainder of the postseason. He had 21 goals, 48 points and a plus-18 rating in 53 regular-season games for Tappara. NHL Central Scouting's No. 1-ranked European skater had four assists and a plus-3 rating in five playoff games.

Nurse, a defenseman, is No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top 2013 draft-eligible North American skaters. He is the second-highest rated defender on the board, behind No. 1-ranked Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. He produced career highs across the board in his second season with the Greyhounds with 12 goals, 29 assists, 41 points, a plus-15 rating and 116 penalty minutes. He also had one goal, four points and six penalty minutes in six playoff games.

The undisclosed injury to Nurse kept him from participating for gold medal-winning Canada at the World Under-18 Championship in Sochi, Russia, in April.


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