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Getting to know ... Senators centre Kyle Turris

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators centre Kyle Turris won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2008 World Junior Hockey Championship, six months after the Phoenix Coyotes picked him third overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (Getty Images).

Kyle Turris has surely found his new hockey oasis.

From toiling in the desert with the Phoenix Coyotes to a return to a hockey-mad market with the Ottawa Senators, Turris has seen his world undergo a massive sea change in just a few short months.

But even in the middle of one of Ottawa’s famed frosty winters, the 22-year-old native of New Westminster, B.C., is a young man at peace with where the game — and life — has taken him. Obtained from the Coyotes on Dec. 17 in a deal for defenceman David Rundblad and a second-round draft pick, Turris was quickly seen as a solution to the Senators’ search for a second-line centre.

Turris was the No. 3 overall pick by the Coyotes in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Six months later, he led Team Canada’s gold-medal winning squad in scoring at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic.

Tuesday night, his first-period goal helped the Senators build an early 3-0 lead en route to a 7-3 triumph over the Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum. He recently took some time out with to talk a little hockey … and more.

Q: Who was your hockey hero growing up?
A: Steve Yzerman. He was the best all-around hockey player, Detroit Red Wings captain, won the Stanley Cup (three times) … he was just unbelievable.

Q: Tell us something about Vancouver that nobody would know.
A: You can go skiing and golfing in the same day.

Q: What do you remember about your draft day?
A: I remember everything. Waking up, getting ready, working out in the morning because the draft wasn’t until the afternoon, doing a couple of interviews, walking over to the rink (Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio), seeing the atmosphere, Wayne Gretzky calling my name to come up and join him on the podium because Phoenix had drafted me … it was a pretty neat experience.

Q: Your favourite memory about world juniors.
A: Winning the gold in overtime. The whole tournament was fun and the way Hockey Canada treated us was great.

Q: Where do you keep that gold medal?
A: I’ve got it in a safe back in Vancouver.

Q: Other than the weather, the biggest difference between Phoenix and Ottawa.
A: Here, I live about five minutes from the rink but back in Phoenix, I was about 35 minutes away. The hockey atmosphere is definitely quite a bit different here.

Q: Name three people, living or dead, who you’d like to have dinner with.
A: Muhammad Ali, Neil Armstrong (he was the first guy who walked on the moon and he’d be pretty interesting) and Albert Einstein (I read a book about him. He’d be pretty cool). Maybe Steve Yzerman, too.

Q: If you’re cooking dinner, what’s on the menu?
A: Pasta. Something like a fettucine alfredo mix with marinara sauce, with a rib eye (steak) on the side.

Q: Your favourite music.
A: I like relaxing to Jack Johnson type of stuff, and I like the Kings of Leon upbeat stuff. I like a little bit of everything.

Q: Your favourite TV show.
A: Modern Family is hilarious. I like Seinfeld, too.

Q: Your favourite movie.
A: Dumb and Dumber is pretty good.

Q: Your favourite thing to do away from the rink.
A: Just relaxing with my family and friends.

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