Fresh off signing a two-year contract, defenceman Darnell Nurse chatted with Oilers Now's Bob Stauffer on Monday afternoon.
With the no-longer RFA's contract negotiations in the rearview and a new deal inked, Nurse spoke about reaching an agreement and his goals for the upcoming season including areas he thinks he can continue to grow.
The 6-foot-4, 221-pound rearguard has always had offensive instinct, but he knows his personal ceiling has yet to be reached when it comes to his ability to grow that facet of his two-way game.
"The offensive side continues to be (an area of improvement)," said Nurse.
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"Obviously, I always pride myself on my defence and being hard to play against and physical, but being able to contribute a little bit more on the offensive side of the ice and be more of a two-way threat is something I think I can help the guys out with. I know the forwards would love a little more back-end production."
Nurse saw a jump In minutes last year when he averaged 22:15 TOI and figures to see those numbers stay elevated with the loss of fellow blueliner Andrej Sekera to injury for a bulk of 2018-19. But the Hamilton, ON native isn't shying away from any challenge as he looks to further cement his presence in the Oilers top four while looking to up his offensive game using his clearly innate sense for when to jump in on the rush- a skill that the Oilers saw flashes of after Nurse reached a career-high in points in 2017-18 with 26 (6 goals, 20 assists) to lead Oilers d-men in even-strength scoring.
The work commences tomorrow for Nurse as he prepares to rejoin his teammates on the ice in Edmonton ahead of the club's second pre-season matchup in Vancouver.