New York Hockey: Jonathan Drouin

Nurse, McNabb's nephew, ready for NHL

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
7:55
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Born in a family of football stars, Darnell Nurse ended up playing hockey.

"I tried [to persuade my parents to let me play football] couple of years in a row to get them to budge, but they wouldn't," said Nurse, whose uncle is former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb. "They said, 'Just stick to hockey.' I look at it now and I'm real thankful for that decision."

Darnell Nurse
Jeff Skopin/ESPN New YorkDarnell Nurse, an admitted Blue Jays fan, wore a Yankees hat in New York.
Nurse went on to say that his father, a college and former CFL player, was the most adamant about Nurse staying on the ice.

But even in a different sport, Nurse got plenty of help and advice from "Uncle Donovan."

"I started working out with him when I was in grade eight," Nurse told reporters at a pre-draft meeting at the observation deck of the Empire State Building. "The way he took me in and showed me the ropes, it doesn't get much better. ... His basic advice was enjoy it all. This is the fun part."

Nurse shared the stage with Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones, son of former NBA player and Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Ronald "Popeye" Jones.

In the latest mock draft, Grant Sonier predicts MacKinnon will be picked by the Colorado Avalanche with the overall No. 1 pick. He has Drouin going second to the Florida Panthers, Jones falling to No. 4 to the Nashville Predators and Nurse at No. 11 to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jones, a potential top pick, said he would not begrudge the Avalanche if they did not select him with the No. 1 pick.

"I didn't have it in my mind that I was for sure going No. 1. I'm not going to take it personal," Jones said. "I'll be happy wherever I go."

How did the prospects enjoy New York?

"I have never been to New York City, so it's obviously a pretty new experience for me here, seeing all the people, constant traffic, the taxis everywhere," Jones said. "It's just like the movies."

Added Nurse: "This is an unbelievable experience, something we all dream about as kids. This is the fun part, all the media stuff. But it comes down to putting in the work; the real work starts July 1. It really sunk in today, even just coming up in the elevator -- I'm in New York now."

SPONSORED HEADLINES