Darnell Nurse, nephew of Donovan McNabb, is well-regarded NHL prospect

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When the National Hockey League Entry Draft begins June 30, a defenseman prospect with a connection to a former NFL star could reportedly hear his name called fairly early in the seven-round event.

Darnell Nurse, who most recently played for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League, is the nephew of former Vikings, Redskins and Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. NHL.com currently ranks Nurse as its No. 9 North American prospect among skaters, or all players excluding goalies.

In a story published Sunday, the 18-year-old Nurse, who is the son of McNabb’s sister, told the Cherry Hill (N.J.) Courier-Post his uncle has been a valuable resource for him.

“No matter what the question is or no matter what I’m going through, he’s always been available,” Nurse said of McNabb, according to the Courier-Post. The publication says Nurse is “projected to be a high pick” in the 2013 NHL draft.

McNabb, who co-hosts a show with Mark Malone weekdays on NBC Sports Radio from 3-7 p.m. ET, told the Courier-Post he’s impressed by Nurse’s work ethic and attitude.

“Darnell is a really mature kid,” McNabb said, according to the Courier-Post. “He’s goal oriented. He’s the guy that’s willing to do whatever it takes in order to be the best.”