The young Coyotes center knew the team’s management and coaching staff were making final roster decisions that day, and part of him was thinking he might get a phone call telling him when and where to pick up his ticket back to the American Hockey League.
| Dave Vest |
That phone call never came.
On Friday morning, Turris learned he’d made Phoenix's roster for the big trip to Prague to start the regular season.
For the third overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the goal he set after his final AHL game in 2009-10 has been reached. Now, he says, it’s on to the next goal.
“I’m really happy right now but I realize this is just the beginning,” Turris told me Friday night. “That was only training camp. Now I have to work hard and help contribute wherever they want me to.”
I asked Turris what his main role on this team will be. His response:
“I think it’s a combination of things, but I think I need to try and keep it simple, and try to create things offensively while at the same time not be a liability defensively.”
Turris played 63 games for the Coyotes in 2008-09. After that season, he underwent back surgery and then spent the entire 2009-10 campaign in the AHL.
|Kyle Turris. Photo by Getty Images. |
I asked Turris what he learned most from his time playing for San Antonio.
“I learned a bunch of things,” Turris said. “We had a good group of guys down there and I was lucky to have Ray Edwards as my coach and he helped me a lot… I worked on everything from face-offs to being stronger on the power play and being better defensively. I think I brought all of that with me to camp this year. Now I’m just going to really try and capitalize on this opportunity I’ve been given.”
Turris has matured in several ways since his debut season with the Coyotes as a 19-year-old.
“I definitely feel more confident, more calm and more relaxed,” Turris said. “I know what to expect now and I feel very comfortable on the ice. I definitely feel stronger and more grown up as a hockey player.“
► Coyotes fans can watch the team practice one final time before it leaves for Prague. The team will take the ice at the Alltel Ice Den in Scottsdale at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Reach Dave Vest at email@example.com
and follow him on twitter @davest4yotes.