Monday, November 28, 2011

Kyle Turris: Doomed to the life of a Desert Dog?

When I heard Kyle Turris wanted to be traded from Phoenix my first thought was: "just wait a few months and the team will move itself". But I guess that wouldn't solve Turris' problem of playing for Dave Tippet, in what he presumably considers a bad situation for himself.

I also began to wonder whether or not Turris was actually a bust. He was drafted third behind Patrick Kane and James van Riemsdyk in 2007 and he still hasn't really cracked the NHL (last year he played in 65 games). Turris feels like a bust because Kane has seemingly been around for forever, so what's taking Turris so long?

Then I looked at his age and realized he was 22. For comparison's sake, Nazem Kadri is 21. If I was going to label Turris a bust, then I better start preparing to do the same for Naz. I wasn't prepared to do that, I still view Kadri as a quality prospect (hold on while I adjust my rosy Leafs-coloured glasses).

With super rookies like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and to a lesser extent, players like Jeff Skinner and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, coming into the NHL and making an immediate impact at 18, it becomes easy to write off someone like Turris for failing to make a similar impact 3-4 years later. But the truth is that it is very rare for an 18-year-old to play at a high level. Most often, players take years to develop into quality NHLers.

So altering my thinking through that lens, it became clear why some teams would still have an interest in Kyle Turris, and why the Phoenix Coyotes didn't give into his trade demands. You don't just give away a player you took with a lottery pick, even if it's three-and-a-half years later.

For today's Good Point article I wrote about the whole Turris saga.

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