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Will Kyle Turris Crack The Coyote's Lineup in 2010-11???
Originally drafted third overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Turris was rushed into the NHL only to find that his size was not where it needed to be.
As a member of the 2007-08 Phoenix Coyotes, Turris managed eight goals and 20 points. While Wayne Gretzky and company saw a lot of good things in Turris’s game (speed, hockey IQ, etc.) it was felt that he needed to work on his competition level and develop his size.
Turris spent an injury-riddled 2008-09 season with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, scoring four goals and seven points in eight games.
Turris followed that season up with a 76 game campaign with the Rampage, scoring 24 goals and adding 39 assists, good enough for 63 points, which ranked him second on the team in scoring behind Brett Maclean and ahead of the highly-touted Mikkel Boedker, who finished fifth overall in scoring with 38 points in 64 games.
The Coyotes are looking to slot Turris in as their third line centre, with Petr Prucha and Boedker playing on his wings.
Currently listed at 6'1", 180 pounds, Turris still looks to be a tad undersized. That said, Turris does posses a good hockey IQ, lots of speed, a tremendous shot, and decent skating ability.
With so much talent, Turris will be given every opportunity to stick it out with the Coyotes for the entire 82-game 2010-11 season. Turris must demonstrate that he can avoid the big hits that will come his way and that he can fight through bigger/tougher NHL defenses.
If Turris disappoints, look for the Coyotes to deal the centre or send him back to the AHL for more seasoning.