According to Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts article, it appears conversations have started between the Edmonton Oilers and defenseman Darnell Nurse on a contract extension.
Nurse is one year away from free agency as an RFA and two years from unrestricted free agency and speculation is that the Oilers would like to lock Nurse up long-term and that Nurse would like to stick with the Oilers.
Nurse has been eating up big minutes on the Oilers blue line and with seven points in 10 games, appears to be finding an offensive groove. Already a solid d-man with some grit and the ability to stand up for his teammates, the Oilers are hoping he’ll continue to contribute on offense and become their 1B to Oscar Klefbom’s 1A.
With 41 points in 82 games last season, there’s no reason to think that’s not possible.
Third in time-on-ice per game (23:36), he’s third in TOI short-handed and sixth in TOI on the power play — two areas that have been excellent for the Oilers this season.
What Is Nurse Worth?
When comparing numbers to other NHL defenseman in Nurse’s category, the Oilers will probably need to look at players like Jacob Trouba ($8 million), Thomas Chabot and Tyler Myers ($6 million) and hope the team can get Nurse locked up somewhere closer to the Myers numbers.
Minute-munching d-men with offensive ability don’t come cheap but with Nurse wanting to stick around, perhaps the Oilers can convince him to take a team-friendly deal, even if they remove years of his unrestricted free agency.
Edmonton is wise to look at this now considering how many RFA’s held out this summer.
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