The road to where we are now hasn’t exactly been an easy one for Kyle Turris.
The third overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft has had a much harder time adapting to the top level than the two forwards selected in front of him: Patrick Kane and James van Riemsdyk. But he could finally put all of that behind him with a solid campaign this year.
Drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes, Turris was slow to develop. The team bounced him between the Coyotes and the minor league levels, which undoubtedly stalled his growth as a player. He played in over 60 games in 2008-09, only to not see a minute with the Coyotes in the next season. He played 65 with them the following year, before playing six last season prior to him being traded to the Ottawa Senators.
With the Senators, though, Turris may have taken advantage of that change of scenery and has started to make the transition into a very solid NHL player.
In 49 games with Ottawa last season, Turris finished with 29 points. That was his career-high. He also logged a good chunk of minutes in each game and skated in the top six. He was a contributor in the postseason, with three points in the opening round, including a game-winning goal in Game 4 against the New York Rangers.
Coming into the new season, there are actual expectations for Turris, which he hasn’t seen for quite a few years. But playing next to a future Hall of Famer in Daniel Alfredsson, he’s going to be expected to perform at a high level on a consistent basis.
Since coming to Ottawa last year, we’ve seen Turris’ confidence increase, especially after performing so well in those 49 games. He’s also added some weight and is up near 200 pounds. Adding some extra meat to that frame should prove especially beneficial, as Turris has long been considered a twig.
As this new season gets underway, Kyle Turris is going to be a player to watch out for, just as the Senators are going to be a team making some noise in the Eastern Conference. He’s off to a strong start, with three goals already on the year, and he may finally be at the beginning of realizing his potential.