The Oilers’ latest Draft choice looked scrambly in the Young Stars tournament, but was that really a fair showing of his abilities?
Darnell Nurse looked like an 18 year old defenseman during the prospect games, which is fair because he IS one. He made some bad decisions, hesitated early, and over committed on a few plays. Those are things that ALL young Defensemen do and it takes a lot of experience and teaching to iron the wrinkles out of their games.
But the Young Stars setup is especially difficult on the Defense, I think. There were no formal practices at first. The defense partners were all new to each other, and there was less attention paid to the defensive zone than to my 8th grade Math teacher. It’s hard for a defenseman to look competent when everybody else is doing things solo.
Now that time is over and the Preseason will open up after a few days of on ice sessions with Eakins and the coaching staff. The plan is in place, the expectations are set. The Oilers are not going to be doing things solo in the defensive zone and that should make all the defense look that much better for it.
Here is Bob Stauffer on Nurse tonight:
We will most certainly be watching.
I expect that Nurse will still look like a young defenseman, but better than he had looked at the Young Stars. Anticipation is such a big part of being a defender, something he has clearly developed to a high degree at the CHL level. Now he plays against a much higher calibre of opposition, but with a system in place to help protect him.
8PM we find out if I’m full of shit.