#23: Markus Nurmi (Reader Rank: 23, Last Year: T-34)
Markus Nurmi is the very embodiment of a long-term project. The first descriptor you’ll typically find in any scouting write-up is “big”, usually followed by “raw”. It’s how the Ottawa Senators themselves described the prospect when they selected him last year with their 6th round pick
At the time of the 2016 draft, Nurmi was the 31st ranked European skater by Central scouting. In the immediate future, Nurmi will be playing his hockey for TPS out of Turku in the Liiga. Last season Nurmi posted 28 points in 27 games for TPS’ U20 affiliate, but was held off the score-sheet in five games with the big club. He’s also a veteran of the Finnish World Junior program and is currently playing in the World Junior Summer Showcase. He’s not exactly Patrik Laine out there, but one doesn’t simply walk onto a team with the pedigree of the Finnish squad.
The biggest knock on Nurmi seems to be that he’s quite skinny considering his height; most scouting reports list him at 168 lbs. He’s also not going to dazzle you with his skill but scouts have described him as playing a solid two-way game. He’s said to have a quick release on his shot.
Unfortunately, there isn’t exactly a tonne of video of his play — the below clip is one of the only things I could find:
Add to that the level of competition in the Finish U20 league isn’t exactly stellar and it’s easy to see how Nurmi remains a bit of an unknown quantity. Truthfully, until Nurmi plays a full season in the Liiga it’s hard to know what to make of him. There’s some promise there, but he’s a long way from a finished product. We’re going to know a lot more in twelve months’ time, but if the Sens are going to rebuild their once-vaunted minor league depth they’ll need to hit on a few players like Nurmi.