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TheLeafsNation Top 25 of 2020: #7 — Leafs rumoured to have interest in Darnell Nurse, is he worth considering?

Welcome to the yearly wrap up of the top read articles over the last year!

There’s one player from the Edmonton Oilers that’s been seemingly connected to Toronto for a long time — Darnell Nurse. He has connections to both Sheldon Keefe and Kyle Dubas from the days of the Soo Greyhounds, so his name will surely come up.

And on August 30th, Jon Steitzer wrote a piece that the Leafs had reported interest in the defenceman.

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That piece was the seventh most-read article this year.

Leafs rumoured to have interest in Darnell Nurse, is he worth considering?

Here’s some of what Steitzer wrote:

Well, earlier in the discussion betweeen Lowetide and Mirtle, the names of interest that came up for the Oilers are Frederik Andersen and Andreas Johnsson. Either one could be a worthwhile option for the Oilers, and fits in with the fact that they can sacrifice some of their defensive depth to upgrade at other positions, and both Andersen or Johnsson would work for the Oilers from a salary cap perspective as well. Although for the Oilers, if they are looking to shed defensemen, the side they would be more likely to be trading from is on the right side, not the left, assuming they see Evan Bouchard as a lock for their blueline and want to give Broberg another year to deveop.

As for whether the Leafs really should be interested in Nurse, all signs point to no. The physicality is appealing, as it often is just following the playoffs, and the familiarity of Nurse to Keefe and Dubas has to carry a lot of weight, but as things sit right now Nurse is has a bad contract that expires in a pretty short turnaround, and the best part of his numbers are black box proprietary data that makes it hard to compare how strong Nurse really has been to others.

I like Nurse. I think he’s better than he’s allowed to be in Edmonton, but the case for acquiring a $5.6M left side defenseman isn’t there at this point and I think any interest the Leafs have in Nurse will probably be put on hold for a couple years.

On Twitter: @zjlaing

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