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Interview with 3rd Overall Selection, Soo Greyhounds, Darnell Nurse

Being selected second overall means 2 things: you are an incredibly talented player and the team that drafted you is going through a rebuild. This is the case with Darnell Nurse. The defenceman was taken by the Soo Greyhounds, the second worst team in the OHL during the 2010/11 campaign. Under new guidance by rookie GM Kyle Dubas, the Greyhounds have a completely new look to them and along with the youthful GM, a new swagger has come over the franchise. I was fortunate enough to talk to all 6'4" 180lbs of the young defenceman. The kid seems to have a great head on his shoulders and knows what is at stake with his young career in his hands.

Darnell let's go back to the OHL Showcase Cup to start, now obviously a heartbreaker there, dropping the finals to the Toronto Marlboros in that fashion. After the emotions and nerves all settled, maybe a few tears shed cuz hey, everyone cries sometimes. What did you learn about yourself that you can build on in that moment?

The loss in the OHL cup really just made me hate losing more. I wouldn't say I learned a lot from the loss, it just makes me more hungry for the upcoming season.

Don Mills obviously a gifted team, you can't plow through teams in the tournament like that without great players and depth. But there was one player who seemed to steal all the talks and that was Max Domi. Whether or not you believe he was the superstar of the team, was it a good thing for the rest of the guys on the team to be in that 'shadow' of Domi and all that went on regarding that circus?

Max Domi was a recognizable name on a team full of talent. He is a great player and was a great teammate. Contrary to what many believe there was always a positive attitude in the locker room.

And one more note about the flyers before moving on to the Soo, besides Domi, who on the Flyers team never received enough credit for their contributions to the team?

I think our coach Bob Marshall never got enough credit for the impact  he had on our team. Through his guidance our team was able to grow not only as players but also as people. There were many hard working players on the team that contributed in ways that did not show up on the score sheet.

I referenced Domi and that circus that went on but you were still taken well ahead of him. #2 overall to the soo greyhounds. What did you know about the franchise before being drafted by them and what were some of the misconceptions that you had that were proven false about this franchise

Through talking to a lot of people and visiting the Soo I learned about the tradition of the franchise. I also learned how much support the community gives the team.

Being taken number 2, an 'exceptional' player was taken ahead of you. You think this will be better for you because you do not have the label and pressures of a first overall selection?

I feel no greater pressure than the pressure I put on myself to succeed. I have always tried to block out others opinions and expectations, knowing that I expect far more of myself than anyone else. If I work my hardest, respect the process and remain humble then my dreams and goals are attainable.

A lot of young guys on this greyhounds team for 11/12 but there is some good veteran leadership as well. Who are you looking forward to playing and learning from this year.

I look forward to working with all the defencemen on the team. Being the youngest it is always nice to talk to guys with experience in the league.

To go along with the young team is of course a young 'inexperienced' GM in Kyle Dubas. Even though the team has not taken the ice under his leadership, he has gotten some great attention and pulled some crazy trades that at least on paper improve this club. Are you excited to be part of this new era not only for the Soo greyhounds but also the new 'philosophy' and 'energy' that will come from it?

Whenever there is change for the better and you are able to be apart of a team that's hungry for success, it's an exciting time.

Just two more for ya, let's talk about you a little bit. Strength, biggest weakness and what do the 'Hounds want you to work on most?

My biggest strength would definitely be my skating ability for someone my size. On the other hand, my biggest weakness would be my shot accuracy. I have been working on it all summer and it has come a long way.

Finally, This year you will be competing not only with some former teammates also drafted in to the OHL. But also some marlboros as well. Is it easy to be friends with these guys still, or are their certain games you may be looking forward to more than others.

I have always been the type of player who recognizes the difference between being on and off the ice. I will always have good friendships with guys I have battled and played against. There is no specific game I am looking forward to the most. I am just excited to get back on the ice and play in the OHL.

Like I said the kid is pretty bright and looks to be hungry to prove that the Barrie Colts made a mistake not making him the first overall selection. Make sure you keep checking out for more interviews as we get closer to the start of the 2011/12 season. And continue to check out the webpage for the latest news and info and follow In The O on twitter at (@intheoradio).

Comments :

Anonymous said...

He was chosen 3rd...Ritchie was 2nd.

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