Tag: Darnell Nurse

San Jose Sharks v Edmonton Oilers

Report: Oilers, Klefbom zero in on seven-year deal


The Edmonton Oilers and defenseman Oscar Klefbom are working on a seven-year extension that could be cemented in the next day or two, TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports.

Klefbom, 22, is currently in the final year of a deal that carries a $894K cap hit. The extension would be worth “north of $4 million per season,” according to Rishaug.

If this comes to fruition, the Oilers’ defensive future would revolve around Klefbom, Andrej Sekera, Darnell Nurse and, to some extent, Mark Fayne.

Klefbom has 77 NHL games under his belt, including 60 with the Oilers in 2014-15. He was the 19th pick of the 2011 NHL Draft.

Oilers Nation discussed the pros and cons of various Klefbom extension scenarios, leaning toward a lengthier deal.

In (Peter) Chiarelli’s shoes, I’d probably wait until November, and if Klefbom continues as he’s started I’d sign him for as long as possible. Cap pressures are already a bit of a concern, and two-to-three years from now they could be really bad; if this team develops as hoped, having Klefbom signed long-term at a reasonable dollar figure could go a long way towards keeping Edmonton’s core together.

Keep in mind that a deal could fall through or be put on hold for a bit.

Burning up: Draisaitl will reportedly play 10th game with Oilers

Tampa Bay Lightning v Edmonton Oilers

For better or worse, the Edmonton Oilers aren’t afraid to burn years off of their prized prospects’ entry-level deals. If TSN’s Ryan Rishaug’s report is correct, they’ll continue that pattern with Leon Draisaitl.

OK, technically they stashed Darnell Nurse (seventh overall in 2013) in junior last season, but if you limit things to top-three picks/forwards, it’s an obvious trend. From Taylor Hall to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to Nail Yakupov and now Draisaitl, the Oilers have opted for the instant jump each time.

Many will argue that such a gameplan is all about instant gratification instead of careful development, yet that’s up to debate, especially since it’s plausible that young forwards aren’t the ones who are most responsible for the fledgling franchise’s largest issues.*

Let’s step out of that vacuum for a moment and ponder Draisaitl’s work so far, though.

Mixed results

So far, the 19-year-old is averaging 13:14 minutes per game. He failed to score a point in his first three games before grabbing an assist on Oct. 15. He added another helper on Oct. 22 and scored his first goal (a game-winner) against the Carolina Hurricanes:

His possession stats are a bit challenging to decipher, which isn’t shocking considering the tiny sample size. While they look nice compared to teammates, he’s started an incredible 81 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, so it’s clear he’s heavily protected in limited minutes (so far).

Really, the Edmonton Journal’s headline from Oct. 26 probably nails it:

Leon Draisaitl: not great, not good, not bad, need to see more.

Apparently, the Oilers decided that they need to see more of him at the NHL level, in 2014-15.

This decision will produce some (justifiable) criticism, yet with Edmonton’s weakness at center – and promising winning streak – it’s also easy to see the logic of the move. Considering the hysteria generated from their lousy start, more than a few front office members might feel especially compelled to “win now.”

It looks like we’ll find out this season if Draisaitl can move the needle enough to justify the risks involved.

* – One fair criticism is that such a strategy might explain why the Oilers haven’t enjoyed much savings on “second contracts,” however. Despite a roster that hasn’t produced a playoff run, Edmonton only has about $4 million in cap space and isn’t really enjoying big savings on young players who boast better potential than results so far.

Oilers send Nurse back to junior

Darnell Nurse #74 of the Edmonton Oilers skates past the defence of Jannik Hansen #36 of the Vancouver Canucks during a preseason NHL game at Rexall Place on September 21, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
(September 20, 2013 - Source: Derek Leung/Getty Images North America)

Darnell Nurse was looking to make the leap this season.

The Edmonton Oilers have decided the 19-year-old defenseman should spend another year in junior instead.

Nurse has been returned to OHL Sault Ste. Marie, where he’ll bolster a Greyhounds team that doesn’t actually need much bolstering. Sault Ste. Marie has won all eight of its games this season, outscoring its opposition 41-18.

The Greyhounds’ success stands in stark contrast to how the Oilers have started the season (0-3-1 and getting outscored 23-11). Nurse only got into two of those games, failing to register a point in either.

The move will allow the Oilers to delay the start of Nurse’s entry-level contract, while providing the player the opportunity to play in a winning environment and possibly represent Canada at the World Juniors tournament.

The Oilers have recalled defenseman Martin Marincin from AHL Oklahoma City.

Related: Goaltending is an issue for Edmonton…again