Ottawa Senators prospect Markus Nurmi took steps forward in his development last season with TPS in the Liiga. The 6’4 forward averaged 14:33 of ice-time and registered 10 goals and 11 assists in 51 games. In addition, Nurmi had an excellent World Juniors tournament in Buffalo and thrived in a defensive role while also recording one goal and two assists in five games. His start to the 2018-19 season has been a bit slow, though, and he has yet to find the back of the net. Nurmi has one year left on his contract with TPS. Next I will take a closer look at Nurmi’s game and what makes him a solid prospect for the Senators.
Nurmi is a player with a strong physical presence and uses his size well to protect the puck. He goes into battles with no hesitation, is willing to pay the price and can take hits to make plays in the offensive zone (as evidenced in the clip below).
Another aspect that stands out about Nurmi’s game is his competitiveness. He works extremely hard and his overall effort is excellent. He’s very effective on the forecheck. He shows strong scoring drive and goes to the net on a regular basis. He always seems to put the team first. In the next clip, Nurmi is able to win the net-front battle and scores.
He also possesses a good wrist shot and scoring touch. The release can occasionally be somewhat slow, but when he has more space, he can really rip it. I don’t think he will score a whole lot of goals if he makes it to the NHL, but he has shown some scoring ability.
The Senators’ sixth round pick is a smart player who can make quick and efficient passes. His skill level isn’t necessarily the highest, but he makes up for it with his strong hockey IQ. In this clip, Nurmi skates towards the net and creates space for his teammate to shoot and the puck ends up going to the back of the net.
All in all, Nurmi has many attributes that could make him a solid NHLer down the road. His skating is relatively good and importantly, his speed and balance have gotten better since he was drafted. He most likely won’t become a constant point producer, but he’s extremely versatile and his style of play suits well for the NHL and North American game in general.