The Edmonton Oilers raised eyebrows on Friday by signing Darnell Nurse to an eight-year contract extension that will earn the defenseman an average annual salary of $9.25 million.
The announcement was made by the Oilers in a press release.
« I am very happy. I’m in a position that will suit my family for a long, long time,” Nurse told a news conference Friday. I am very lucky to be where I am. I just want to go back to work. »
With his new deal, Nurse joins Edmonton’s core roster for the next few years, alongside forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
All in all, this is a generous contract for Nurse. The Oilers’ first-round pick (seventh overall) in the 2013 draft, the defender is coming off a good season with 36 points, including 16 goals, in 56 games. He also posted a differential of +27.
“Like any young player entering the league, I knew what kind of player I could become and who I wanted to be, and sometimes [les offres de contrat] didn’t always reflect what I thought of myself, » Nurse confessed.
Still progress to make
Nurse is the fourth National Hockey League (NHL) player with the most time on the ice in 2020-21. His average per game of 25:38 was second only to Drew Doughty, Thomas Chabot and Brent Burns.
Its extension will be applied from the 2022-2023 season. He will then become the fifth highest paid back in the league, behind in particular Zach Werenski and Seth Jones, who also signed contract extensions this summer.
Although he will be one of the highest paid players on the Bettman circuit, Nurse believes he still needs to improve and the Oilers will also need to improve to go further in the playoffs. Recall that the Alberta team was shut out by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round in 2020-2021.
“The past year has been great. Looking back, I can say that I improved some things, but for me, there is no reason to be satisfied or happy with the way it went. I want to move on and be better because there are other levels to reach,” concluded Nurse.
The 26-year-old Ontario athlete has 157 points in 406 games, all played with the Oilers in the NHL.