Sizing Up the NHL’s 10 Best Pending RFA Defensemen

Things are starting to heat up with between Darnell Nurse and the Edmonton Oilers.

On Saturday night during Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Oilers and Nurse are making progress on an expected short-term deal. Nurse is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $3.2 million and with Nurse patrolling the blueline for just under 23 minutes a night, the Oilers value him as a top-pairing defenseman.

Since Nurse signed his last deal, his 1.09 points-per-60 at 5-on-5 has been the best among Oilers defensemen. Nurse’s possession numbers aren’t pretty, but at least he’s on the ice with some guy who touches the puck a lot himself named Connor McDavid, right? Nurse isn’t a perfect defenseman and isn’t a league leader in any particular category, but at least the Oilers have been able to rely on Nurse to carry the load.

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