Defenseman Darnell Nurse came straight outta Bakersfield to score the first goal of his National Hockey League career Tuesday night.
Nurse, the Edmonton Oilers’ 2013 first-round draft pick, was called up from the Bakersfield Condors – the Oil’s American Hockey League farm team in California – and inserted into the lineup in a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.
In 19:20 of ice time, Nurse fired two shots, had three hits and two blocked shots.
The Oilers assigned Nurse to start the 2015-16 hockey season in Bakersfield. There, he had no goals, one assist, and seven penalty minutes in six games for the Condors.
The former captain for the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Nurse helped power Team Canada to the Gold Medal at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal.
He had one goal, no assists, and a plus-minus rating of +8 in seven tournament games and opponents didn’t score while he was on the ice. He was named one of Canada’s three best players in the tourney.
Nurse hails from an athletic family. His younger sister, Kia Nurse, is a point guard for the 2015 NCAA Division I champion University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team and a member of the Canadian women’s national team. Older sister Tamika played basketball for the University of Oregon and Bowling Green State University.
Their father Richard Nurse, was a wide receiver for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats; their mother Cathy was a basketball standout at Canada’s McMaster University.
When he was younger, Darnell Nurse spent time with his uncle, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. A cousin, Sarah Nurse, plays hockey for the University of Wisconsin.