When the average hockey fan talks about the 2007 NHL draft they often ask “who was picked after Patrick Kane?” … The question is justified, as the 2007 draft has thus far proved to be the draft of the late bloomer. Making the ’07 draft class even more frustrating are freak shows such as Sean Couturier (8th overall in 2011) who seem to make the jump from the draft to dominating the NHL at 18-years old. These are the exceptions, not the rule.
After Patty Kane went James Van Riemsdyk (still not what he was projected to be), and then Kyle Turris. Turris was on the verge of being labelled a bust by myself and many other self-proclaimed “experts” … but he is now humiliating our premature conclusions with each passing game in Ottawa. After holding out at the beginning of this season with Phoenix, Turris missed training camp and subsequently the first 20-ish games of the regular season. Then, he played 6 half-hearted games with the desert dogs before being shipped to Ottawa for highly-touted Swedish magician David Rundblad and a 2nd overall pick in 2012. In his 15 games with the Senators, Turris has filled the second-line center hole beautifully in the Nation’s Capital, and then some:
*5 points in his past 6 games … The Sens are 11-2-2 in 15 games since the trade
The scary thing, is he is only getting better after missing training camp and a large chunk of the season. Centering a line with Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek/Erik Condra, Turris is gaining confidence and ice time. It is hard to blame him for wanting out of Phoenix … he was not drafted to be defensive forward, he is a naturally gifted scorer. Moreover, playing 11 minutes a night in a defensive system under Dave Tippet in Phoenix is not going to give Turris a fair shake to show his stuff offensively. That being said, his 200-foot game that he dazzles fans in Ottawa with now is an attribute to Tippet’s impact on Turris’ game –> note: his +9 rating (3rd on the Senators).
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again … young offensive players thrive on confidence. Nothing will give a young center confidence like scoring a big goal in a rivalry game. Last night, Turris did exactly that with the nicest goal of his young career (which I was fortunate enough to witness live … see the video below). Coach Paul Maclean is handing him between 18-20 minutes a night and Turris could be on the verge of a hot-streak after this lazer over James Reimer’s shoulder.
Add him up, and feel free to say it was your own idea.