Rapid Fire: with Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse

Darnell Nurse talks about his first major purchase and why he wears No. 25.

Which NHL player did you model your game after?

Jarome Iginla was a big reason why I first started playing. Mats Sundin – being from Hamilton, I saw him a lot when he was in Toronto. Chris Pronger was always a guy I watched and tried to model my game after.

What was your first big purchase after signing an NHL contract?

When I was 18 I bought my first F-150.

If you could, what would you tell your 13-year-old self?

Keep working. I’ve always prided myself on working hard. Keep working and enjoy every moment of it.

Why do you wear No. 25?

I’ve worn it since I was seven years old and just never changed it.

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What’s the most important skill for a young player to learn?

Positioning. Especially when you get to the pro level, you have to be at the right spot at the right time. It’s hard to practise that other than when you’re in a game situation, but it’s definitely a huge part of being successful at a high level.

What’s the best thing about being an NHL player?

The fans. Getting to go out there and play in front of them.”