Since Bryan Murray pulled the trigger on the deal earlier this season sending David Rundblad and a 2nd round pick to the Phoenix Coyotes for centre Kyle Turris, Turris has been lining up as the club’s #2 centre behind Jason Spezza. When he was acquired, he was supposed to be the answer to one of the team’s 2 major historical problems. After nearly 3 months, there is a large enough sampling to see if that supposition was on target or not.
Turris has played 38 games in an Ottawa uniform, collecting 8 goals and 12 assists for 20 points. Over a full season, that equates to about 44 points. He is also a +10, and has won 46.7% of his faceoffs.
Turris had a good first month with the Senators, as between Dec. 20th and Jan. 19th he notched 4 goals and 9 assists in his first 16 games. Since then it has been a struggle to find the net, with 4 goals and 3 assists in the last 22 matches.
IMPACT ON THE TEAM
The Senators have a record of 22-10-6 since the deal (they were 14-15-4 before it). Daniel Alfredsson, who has been patrolling his right wing for most of Turris’ tenure, has recorded 13 goals and 15 assists since the trade, albeit some of them have been on the power play or while promoted to the Spezza line when a goal was needed.
LEGITIMATE 2nd LINE CENTRE?
In his heyday as the Senators #2 centre, Mike Fisher put up seasons of 44-48-47 and 53 points. At the time that wasn’t considered to be enough production from the second line role and more offense was expected from that spot in the lineup. Add to that the fact that Fisher did that without a Daniel Alfredsson on his wing and it makes you question what Turris’ upside will be. Fisher also added a very physical presence and good defensive awareness.
So far, there is no doubt that Turris adds depth to the Senators. Is he a legitimate 2nd line centre? Not at the moment, but he is the best option that the Sens have for the role. He has the size, speed and shot to be an elite player, but watching him for the nearly 40 games I question whether he has the pure hockey sense to really excel in a scoring role. At this point there isn’t a better option, but there are players coming in (Mika Zibanejad, Jacob Silfverberg among others) that will press for top 6 minutes as soon as later this season.