He had a good run and turned a lot of heads, but defenseman Darnell Nurse was cut from the Edmonton Oilers training camp Tuesday night and returned to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, his junior team.
Nurse, the seventh pick in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft, was reassigned shortly after the Oilers’ 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers in Edmonton Tuesday night.
The 18-year-old nephew of retired Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb wasn’t expected to make the Oilers when training camp started. But he turned heads with his sometimes strong and aggressive play, particularly in a preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks last week.
Asked about how he felt when learning he was cut, a downcast Nurse told reporters “it sucks.”
“If anyone tells you it feels good to get cut, they’re lying to you,” he told reporters. “It sucks, there’s nothing fun about it, but they have the best plan for me in my development. I’m going to go back and dominate my league and hope I have an opportunity to play in the World Juniors.”
“I gave everything I had,” Nurse continued. “I came in as prepared as I could be. I was really fueled by the fact that so many people said I wasn’t good enough to keep up at this level. I think I proved a few people wrong over the course of this camp, but I still have a lot of room to grow as a player.”
Of the eight players of color taken in the 2013 draft, only defenseman Seth Jones remains in the training camp of the team that selected him. Jones, the fourth player picked in the draft, looks likely to make the Nashville Predators roster.