The top-ranked North American skater, at least according to NHL Central Scouting, was drafted fourth overall today in Newark.
Not many expected Seth Jones to still be available when the Nashville Predators took to the podium to announce their pick, but after Nathan MacKinnon went to the Avs first overall, Florida surprised by selecting center Aleksander Barkov and Tampa Bay took winger Jonathan Drouin third, leaving the big American defenseman available.
For the Preds, it gives them another potential franchise defenseman to go with captain Shea Weber.
Nashville, of course, lost Norris Trophy finalist Ryan Suter to free agency last summer.
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.