Edmonton Oilers finalizing two-year extension with Darnell Nurse

According to Bob McKenzie, the Edmonton Oilers are close to agreeing to a new deal with defenseman Darnell Nurse.

The Edmonton Oilers are close to agreeing to an extension with soon-to-be restricted free agent defenseman Darnell Nurse. According to Bob McKenzie, the deal is expected to be a two-year deal. Darren Dreger is reporting the deal will be worth $5.6 million annually. This deal will take him to unrestricted free agency.

Though the deal is close, the team has yet to confirm the deal is done. However, it certainly sounds like something should be announced shortly.

So far this season, Nurse has 24 points (four goals and 20 assists) in 55 games. He plays over 22 minutes per night and is a leader on both ends of special teams for the Oilers. Nurse averages over two minutes per game shorthanded and a shade under a minute per game on the power play.

Last season, he put up 41 points in 82 games, setting a career high. Nurse is on pace to finish with over 30 points this season and has at least 20 points in three consecutive seasons from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

He’s known for his ability to push the puck up the ice and put up points, as his point totals suggest. However, Nurse still struggles a bit defensively, though he has shown noticeable improvement on the penalty kill.

Nurse’s new contract could cause some concerns for the Oilers. First of all, they didn’t buy out any of his UFA years and still had to pay a pretty high price. Secondly, before factoring in a likely increase in the cap ceiling, the Oilers now have under $14 million of cap space for next season with just 13 players signed. Ethan Bear and Matthew Benning will both need new deals as well.

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The Oilers could create cap space by trading Nurse (who didn’t get an NTC or NMC in his new deal) or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. However, for now, their cap space situation looks a little bleak. Nurse’s new deal certainly doesn’t change that.

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