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Turris ready for role as Senators' top center

Monday, 07.14.2014 / 3:01 PM ET / News
By NHL.com Feature
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Turris ready for role as Senators\' top center\r\n

Kyle Turris has experience taking over for Jason Spezza as the Ottawa Senators' No. 1 center and he is confident he can do it again.

Turris will ascend the depth chart this season after Spezza was traded to the Dallas Stars on July 1. Two seasons ago, Spezza was sidelined for almost all of the shortened schedule after back surgery.

"I definitely think I've learned a lot over the past two years from those experiences, from being put into that role when [Spezza] was hurt, and seeing how hard the matchup is," Turris told the Ottawa Sun on Friday. "I just tried to take that mentality and put it into the role I had this past year. … This upcoming year, if I'm put into that role again, I think the experience I have now will work in my favor, to know what to expect and how better to prepare for it.

"If I get that opportunity I'll be excited about the challenge, that's for sure."

Turris doubled his career high with 58 points last season. He had 26 goals and 32 assists and was plus-22 playing primarily with Clarke MacArthur and Bobby Ryan on Ottawa's second line.

The third pick in the 2007 NHL Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes, Turris turns 25 on Aug. 14.

"One thing I've learned over my career is nothing really surprises you," Turris told reporter Don Brennan. "It's such a business and so many different things can happen. It's tough. [Spezza] is a great friend, a real good person and obviously somebody that's extremely tough trying to replace."

Turris had 29 points (12 goals) in 48 games during the 2012-13 season, when Spezza missed all but five games. After trading their captain and prospect Ludwig Karlsson for wing Alex Chiasson, two prospects and a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, the Senators signed center David Legwand as a free agent, and have Mika Zibanejad and Zack Smith returning.

"I think we're going to have everybody in our lineup playing the same way, coming hard back and back checking extremely hard, to put pressure on their guys coming down and eliminating the odd-man rushes," Turris said. "And at the same time as coming hard back defensively, we're going to be exploding offensively at the turnovers and getting out of our zone as quick as we can."

Ottawa finished fifth in the Atlantic Division and was five points out of the second Eastern Conference wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I think we've got a definite playoff team, and not just a playoff team, I feel we've got a group that can make a run in the playoffs," Turris said. "I definitely feel we have a real good team."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
2 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
3 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
4 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
5 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
6 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
7 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
8 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 53 11 48 7 59
B. Ryan 52 19 26 -1 45
M. Hoffman 49 23 18 6 41
M. Stone 51 14 24 -13 38
M. Zibanejad 52 11 21 -2 32
K. Turris 47 13 17 -10 30
J. Pageau 53 12 8 3 20
Z. Smith 52 10 5 5 15
C. Ceci 46 5 10 -3 15
C. Lazar 48 5 9 0 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 21 17 4 .913 2.91
A. Hammond 3 5 2 .900 3.10