Kyle Turris Traded to Senators: Coyotes Land Huge Value for Struggling Forward
NHL.com and TSN are reporting Saturday afternoon that the deal has been confirmed. Negotiations involving Turris have been ongoing since well before the season began, with a variety of Canadian teams involved in close discussions.
Since his signing of a two-year, $2.8 million contract on Nov. 22, Turris trade rumors and speculations had skyrocketed, capped off by a media firestorm throughout the past week. The 22-year-old center, the third overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft, was anticipated to be perhaps the biggest trade item of the 2011-12 season.
In return, the Coyotes will receive young defenseman David Rundblad and Ottawa's second-round pick in next spring's 2012 draft. Given Turris' severe, lackluster performance and lack of enthusiasm in Arizona, the 'Yotes clearly found an exchange they were happy to accept.
Rundblad may be worth more than Turris on his own, in fact. At only age 21, he has many years of improvement left in front of him, and he has already proven to be a very promising blueliner.
The Swedish-born D-man was drafted with the 17th choice of the first round during the '09 draft. He signed his three-year entry-level deal with the St. Louis Blues close to a year later but was traded two weeks later on draft day 2010 to Ottawa for the pick that became Vladamir Tarasenko.
Rundblad had spent most of the previous three seasons—and would spend the following season, as well—with Skelleftea of the Swedish Elite League.
Given that the SEL is not a junior league, Rundblad operated only as a mid-level defenseman for Skelleftea over most of his time there; nonetheless, over his entire career, the young star totaled 12 goals, 61 assists and 38 PIM in 152 regular-season games. His 50 points during the '10-'11 season were the second-most all time for an SEL defenseman.
Furthermore, Rundblad racked up three scores and seven helpers in 40 postseason appearances, in addition to two goals and five assists in 12 Junior World Championship games with Sweden.
Unfortunately, his NHL debut this fall wasn't exactly jaw-dropping. In 24 games, Rundblad rarely made it to the box score—just one goal and three assists—and had recently dropped to a minus-11 rating. The 6'2" defenseman will depart the Senators on a 10-game pointless streak that included six games in the negatives (in terms of plus-minus).
Despite his slow start, Rundblad will hope to aid the 'Yotes' defense that has allowed an average 31.5 shots per game, 23rd in the NHL. Aside from headliners Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Phoenix D is extremely short on household names. Rundblad should have ample opportunity to knock Derek Morris, David Schlemko or another name out of the starting six.
When Rundblad, with significant potential and skill left, is coupled with a formidable draft pick, too, the Coyotes truly are receiving quite a package of youthful talent. At the moment, Ottawa's second-round pick would be No. 43 overall—not a bad position whatsoever. Both rising Habs star P.K. Subban and up-and-coming Blackhawk Brandon Saad were taken in that slot of the '07 and '11 drafts, respectively.
As enticing as those two goodies are, Phoenix might be nearly as thrilled about merely getting Turris off of their hands. The once-highly touted British Columbia native has been a disaster on all levels: the AHL, the NHL and even off the ice.
Who got the better end of this trade?
In '06-'07, Turris' incredible 66 goals and 121 points with Burnaby of the BCHL launched him onto every scout's radar, but since then, every part of his game has headed swiftly downhill. One season with the University of Wisconsin resulted in only 35 points in 36 games; two partial seasons with the Coyotes in '07-'08 and '08-'09 led to just eight goals and 21 points in 66 GP, combined.
After a one-year re-development stint with AHL San Antonio, where Turris had 24 goals and 63 points, he was recalled for another try at fitting into the National Hockey League last year. It didn't work this time, either—the underwhelming forward managed only 11 lit-lamps and 14 assists.
During six games in Phoenix this autumn, Turris had zero goals, zero assists, zero points and two minor penalties. He'll leave the desert with a bleak 0.14 goals-per-game ratio and horrific minus-22 rating.
Hence, on both ends of the deal, the Coyotes are doubtlessly ecstatic with their steal. Although the young Senators will certainly have hopes that a change of scenery will also change Turris' work ethic, Phoenix should be overjoyed to not only wipe the slate clean, but also with the fact that they have acquired several more-than-noteworthy additions to their portfolio.
Kyle Turris is gone from Phoenix. And the Coyotes couldn't be more pleased.
Mark Jones is currently Bleacher Report's featured columnist and community leader for the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes. In his 38 months so far with the site, he has written over 325 articles and received more than 385,000 total reads.
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