Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: W Markus Nurmi

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks owned seven picks early in each round. That changed after trading the second and fourth-round selections to the Florida Panthers, but who knows what will happen on draft day to get those back. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Next up on our list is Markus Nurmi, a winger from Turku, Finland.

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Name: Markus Nurmi

Position: Right Wing/Left Wing

Shoots: Right

Height, weight: 6’4”, 176 lbs

Team/League: TPS Turku U20, Jr. A SM-Liiga

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 31st (European Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2.5/5, 3/5

NHL-potential: Middle-Six Winger

Draft Range: Third to Fifth Round

Scouting report

"Nurmi is a typical bottom-six role player who understands his role as such and executes at both ends of the ice. He uses his big size in many plays, but needs to add some extra muscle. Nurmi is a team player and knows his role within a team structure very well and is not afraid to get his nose dirty. I like his compete level, determination and energy level. He is able to deal with lower minutes and make the most out of them. Nurmi is ready whenever needed by his coach and is a nice addition to a skilled team. ("


Markus Nurmi is a player with questionable offensive potential, but good-enough two-way abilities to be considered by teams in the third round of the draft. He plays a defense-first game and likes to use his frame to his advantage, and displays offensive abilities at times.

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Nurmi is a 6-foot-4, 176-pound winger who likes to play a gritty and physical game. Nurmi had no struggles in juniors whatsoever, using his body to separate opponents from the puck, and protect it when he has it. Plus, Nurmi likes to steer the pot after the whistle, which is also much easier with an intimidating frame. His 176 pounds might not get him far in the NHL, but if he adds some muscle, he can become a force in North America as well.

Though not the most agile skater, as you would expect given his size, Nurmi is strong on his skates and has decent first strides. He is not the fastest skater out there, but he uses his edges and strength to keep the puck away from his opponents. With a lack of speed, he likely won’t turn into a power forward, but it is enough to cause some trouble around the net.

A lot of Nurmi’s production will come from doing the dirty work — digging out pucks from the corners, causing trouble as a net-front presence and digging for rebounds. In the NHL, many, many goals are scored that way — rebounds, deflections or goalie screens — so that part could translate well. If he isn’t parked in front of the net, you will find him moving around the offensive zone, creating time and space for himself and his teammates.

Nurmi is a smart and hard-working player who can be effective on both sides of the ice. He is quick on the backcheck and knows his defensive responsibilities, always aware of what could happen next. Nurmi profits from his size and reach in the defensive zone, as he has an active stick and knows how to break up lanes and intercept passes.


While Nurmi will produce a few dirty goals every now and then, he won’t do anything with a lot of flash. His stickhandling is below-average and he can struggle to keep up with his hockey sense. Nurmi knows what he wants to do, and often has good ideas, but fails to execute. At the junior level, he had 36 points in 49 games, so that is some, but really not that much.

With a lack of speed and skill, as well as an average shot, Nurmi does not project as a power forward. He likes to make room for his teammates and be a hard-working complementary player who scores on rebounds, but he won’t speed past defensemen and fire a laser top shelf or anything like that. Speaking of his shot, Nurmi needs to improve his accuracy and shoot more.

Final Thoughts

There is a reason why Nurmi is only ranked 31st by NHL Central Scouting. Is a defense-only player someone you want to use an early mid-round pick on? Shouldn’t there be a little more to even consider him?

But, there is also a reason why I chose to profile him here. There is reason to believe that he can produce some offense, thanks to the style he plays — hard-working and physical. The NHL has and needs players like him, and if he can become anything close to a Troy Brouwer, I’ll take that in the third or fourth round.

The Vancouver Canucks’ 64th selection might be a tad too early for him, but if they believe in the kind of player he can be, it is not impossible. Nurmi plays a gritty style and likes to get under his opponents’ skin — if those “intangibles” are something you value, Nurmi is an interesting player.

Next: More 2016 NHL Draft Profiles

GM Jim Benning traded for Erik Gudbranson, a physical defenseman with bad advanced stats while being said to have “good intangibles”, so why not draft Nurmi? There are about 100 players who could be considered in the third round, and Nurmi is certainly one of them.