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Instant Analysis: Preds Acquire Kyle Turris

Trade for Turris Could Be Final Piece Nashville Needs

by Brooks Bratten & Thomas Willis @PredsNHL /

Add another blockbuster trade to David Poile's resume.

The Nashville Predators got together with the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche on Sunday evening to complete a three-way deal that saw the Preds acquire three-time, 20-goal scorer Kyle Turrisfrom the Senators.

A pending unrestricted free agent, Turris then signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Predators to keep him in Nashville through the 2023-24 season.

As part of the deal, forward Matt Duchene was traded from Colorado to Ottawa, while the Predators sent forward Vladislav Kamenev, defenseman Samuel Girard and a 2018 second-round pick to the Avalanche.

The acquisition of Turris gives the Predators incredible depth at the center position, just as they possess on the blue line. With Ryan Johansen, Nick Bonino, Calle Jarnkrok, Colton Sissons, Frederick Gaudreau and now Turris all capable of playing in the middle of the ice, Nashville's ability to match up against the top centers in the game on a nightly basis will only help.

Originally selected by the Coyotes with the third overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Turris has seen his game thrive since he was traded to Ottawa in 2011. He's hit the 55-point mark on three occasions, including a career-high 27 goals during the 2016-17 season. Turris tallied 24 goals and 64 points in 2014-15 and has never amassed fewer than 55 points in a season when playing 78 games or more.

Over the course of his seven seasons in Ottawa, Turris led the team in goals with 117 and was second to only Erik Karlsson in points (274) and power-play points (73) during that time.

He's also performed in the playoffs, recording four goals and 10 points during Ottawa's run to the 2017 Eastern Conference Final, while serving as an assistant captain in Ottawa over the past four seasons.

So welcome to Nashville, Kyle Turris. Here's why this deal could be the one to put the Preds over the top.

Win-Now Move:

Not that you need reminding, but the Predators were two wins away from claiming their first Stanley Cup in franchise history five months ago. And that was without first-line center Ryan Johansen.

On the strength of their elite, mobile defense Nashville dominated the Western Conference en route to the Final by knocking off the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks. Sunday's move for Turris assures they'll be in the conversation to pull of the very same feat at the end of this regular season. Up front, the reigning-GM-of-the-year has added to the potent first line of Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg the scoring ability of Turris and Scott Hartnell to go with two-way players like Nick Bonino, Calle Jarnkrok and Colton Sissons. Also, Bonino and Sissons can now shift down in the lineup to roles they're more accustomed to and will be able to excel at. 

The West's Best Center and Defense Combo?

With Ryan Ellis expected to return next month, what is arguably the NHL's best blue line will be reunited along with newcomer Alexei Emelin. Nashville struck fear into the West with their lockdown defense and strong goaltending from Pekka Rinne in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs - and there's nothing to say they can't do that again each of the next two years - but now they'll have lines up front that rival the talent seen in their defensive corps.

Turris instantly brings another 20-goal scorer to the lineup, and as someone who has topped 40 assists in a season, provides a dangerous threat behind Johansen. How much will potential linemates like Kevin Fiala, Craig Smith or even Forsberg benefit from Turris's passing and playmaking? A lot. Most of them have not even had the chance to skate with an elite centerman before.

Top Four Intact as Preds Add Scorer:

The Predators biggest strength is their surplus of talented defenseman; that's why it would have been easy to draw from that pool in order to upgrade the forward group. Nashville's GM wasn't interested in doing that, however.

Poile adds a traditional first-line center in Turris to skate on the team's second line and bring a 1-2 punch to the opposition. That's a surplus of talent at forward and defense if you're counting at home. Threats like Chicago's Jonathan Toews and Artem Anisimov, Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler and Edmonton's Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will now have their hands full, if and when, the time comes to meet in the postseason.

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