Darnell Nurse

Darren Walker

Nurse is a big, athletic blueliner with some huge upside as a bruising physical defender. His size and yet thin frame have many evaluators very excited for the beast he could become once he fills out. His skating ability and smooth transitions keep him engaged with his opponents. He has the ability to skate the puck up ice and generate a scoring opportunity for himself or his teammates using his long strides and wide wing span to protect the puck before quickly turning back on into defensive position. His game is virtually mistake free with the puck and regarding his decisions on his positioning in the defensive zone. He plays aggressive both physically as well as joining the rush or moving the puck himself. He is aggressive in board battles and comes out the winner more often than not. Nurse leaves his opponent feeling the little hacks and whacks when they try to enter the zone on his side. He plays with a heavy stick and is hard to knock off the puck or push out of position. Despite that aggressive nature, he is also very poised and calm in his handling of the puck. Nurse makes strong reads and crisp passes to his forwards and keeps himself available for his defensive partner as an outlet and communicates well. He shows good character on and off the ice as well as strong leadership qualities that are just starting to come to the surface. He utilizes his long reach to disrupt lanes and opposition puck movements and will staple his check to the wall as well as clear the crease with vigor. He angles attackers well to the outside and keeps up to the speedy forward well. Nurse has shown a very impressive instinct of when to step up and lay out an opponent with a devastating open ice check. He is not shy about getting in the face of his opponents and will stand up for himself by dropping the gloves. While he can handle himself at this level rather well, Nurse will be even more dangerous in that regard as he gains strength. (May 2013)