Nashville Predators: What You Can Expect from Kyle Turris

(Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /

The Nashville Predators have assembled the strongest roster in franchise history, with the addition of Kyle Turris. To fully understand the new acquisition, let’s take a look at his career numbers in Ottawa.

The Phoenix Coyotes drafted centerman Kyle Turris at third overall in the 2007 NHL draft. Obviously, to be a top-three pick in the NHL, a player must have impressed scouts and general managers alike. What’s more, the two players he was selected after? Patrick Kane and James van RiemsdykElite Prospects described Kyle Turris with high praise, saying the following:

"A two-way center, Turris oozes skill. He has great hockey sense and passing ability. Can also pick a spot with his quick wrist shot. Skates very well, has an effortless stride."

I don’t know about you, but my favorite phrase in hockey is “two-way center.” In terms of a player’s value to their team, versatility is key.

Statistical breakdown

In order to be a successful two-way center, a player has to excel in at least two areas. Really, it’s all about scoring chances, suppress shots from the opponent while generating them for the good guys. We’ll start with Corsi per year, just to keep things simple. Corsi is a proportional measure of the total shots generated by each team. When calculating for a specific player, you only use the shots generated while that individual is on the ice. Corsi for and Corsi against refer to shots generated for and against a player’s team, respectively. The ratio provides the Corsi For Percentage.

Luckily, at 28 years old, Kyle Turris has provided a decent sample size. Here’s how his even-strength Corsi (CF%) has looked each year since he signed with the Ottawa Senators in 2011:


His mean Corsi for over the past six seasons is 51.5 ± 2.2%. For all NHL centers over the same time period, that score is just slightly better than the league average. Over the course of six seasons, Turris produced 0.64 ± 0.1 points per game.

Impact on linemates

Trying to determine a player’s specific contribution to his line is a little more complicated, but possible. Here’s a look at the performance of Kyle Turris’ most frequent linemates, in terms of Corsi For % (CF%) with and without Turris on the ice:

SeasonCF% with TurrisCF% w/o Turris

*omitted from mean calculation

On average, Kyle Turris’ lines have produced a Corsi of 51.42 ± 3.3% at even strength since 2011. Over the same period, without Turris on the ice, his usual linemates produced an average Corsi of 56.01 ± 2.1% (after omitting 2014-2015 as a low extreme).

Of course, the sample size for the values in the right column is significantly lower than that of the middle column. That said, the middle column values come from at least 400 minutes of ice time per season, and those on the right from at least 100 minutes. I feel comfortable comparing the percentages each season.

All in all, it’s not a great look for Kyle Turris. In every season since 2011, his linemates have produced better even-strength Corsi values without him alongside. Hopefully, he’ll be able to find linemates with the Nashville Predators that allow him to be more successful.

Center depth solution

The biggest detriment to the Nashville Predators’ playoff run last season was their lack of depth at the center position. Ultimately, the team could not overcome the loss of their first-line center, Ryan Johansen. Kyle Turris is definitely an upgrade over other center options right now, including Calle Jarnkrok, Nick Bonino, and Colton Sissons.

How, though, does Turris stack up against the team’s former 2C, Mike Fisher? The comparisons are incredibly convenient. Both players spent several years of their early career with the Ottawa Senators. Fisher signed with the Nashville Predators in 2011, the same year that Turris signed with the Senators. Fisher’s value off the ice is certainly a factor; the Ontario native spent his final season in Nashville as the team’s captain.

For now, I’ll just focus on comparing the tangible contributions of each player. Here’s how Mike Fisher looked in Ottawa from ages 22-28, or the same ages that Turris played as a Senator:


Unfortunately, the NHL did not track Corsi statistics before 2007, so those values are unavailable. Over his career, including his time with Nashville, Fisher’s mean Corsi was 48.34 ± 3.1%, which is below league average. Over the six seasons in the table above, he produced 0.55 ± 0.1 points per game, considerably fewer than Kyle Turris.

During his final season in Nashville, Mike Fisher played primarily alongside Colin Wilson and Craig Smith on the second line. I fully expect Kyle Turris to maintain a position on the Predators’ second line, likely with Smith and Kevin Fiala.

Reasonable expectations

For each of the next few seasons, it is safe to expect between 45-55 points from the Predators’ newest addition. If Ryan Johansen can maintain his usual production of 60+ points, the addition of Turris will make this top six one of the best in the NHL.

Let me be clear: the addition of Kyle Turris does not revolutionize this Nashville Predators roster. However, it does make sense for a number of reasons. Primarily, it takes care of the team’s major need for a legitimate second-line center. Additionally, it allows players like Calle Jarnkrok and Frederick Gaudreau to become more flexible in their positioning. Frankly, I think both players will be at least as productive as wingers than either were as centers.

In terms of the postseason, the Predators are in substantially better shape than they were before this trade. As an example, if Ryan Johansen is forced to miss games during the playoffs, Nashville is much more capable of surviving the loss.

Next: Turris joining shouldn't reunite JoFA line

In my opinion, David Poile has made yet another move that strengthens this team. The Predators will be very disappointed if a Cup is not brought to Nashville within the next three years.