Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers hosted another special guest this week as the kids were treated with a visit from Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse.
Nurse is in Edmonton to watch the start of the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Basketball Championship as his sister Kia takes to the court for Canada, and he jumped at the chance to drop by Oilers Hockey School while he was in town.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound d-man also spoke about the upcoming Oilers training camp and how he feels about the battle on the back end that lays ahead.
“I am just going to get myself ready to go out there and earn a job,” he said. “It’s something that I am expecting myself to do, but at the same time, it’s going to take a lot of work. And I’ve got to put that work in.”
Nurse’s OHL playoff run with the Soo Greyhounds this past spring got cut short in the semifinal round thanks to Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters, but that meant he got to join the Oilers AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons on their playoff run in May. Nurse said that extra experience with the AHL club was hugely beneficial as he gets ready to become a full-time pro in 2015-16.
“Any opportunity you have to get out there and play definitely helps. But it was good to help me gauge myself and things I need to work on. I have another year under my belt. I know what to expect and I know what to expect from myself.”
Nurse appeared in two games with the Oilers at the beginning of the 2014-15 NHL season, before reporting back to the OHL with the Greyhounds where he made 36 regular season appearances, tallying 10 goals and 23 assists. He tacked on three goals and five assists during the Soo's post-season run and contributed four assists during his short four-game stint in the AHL playoffs with OKC. Nurse also led Hockey Canada to a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and earned tournament MVP honours in the process.
Nurse’s next action in Oilers silks will be at the Young Stars Classic taking place in Penticton in mid-September.