Duchene Vs Turris, Who Was The Better Acquisition?

Ever since the infamous Matt Duchene trade occurred on November 5, 2017, the majority of the hockey world believed that the Ottawa Senators had lost the trade. Nashville fans all over were overjoyed to see Kyle Turris record 5 points in his first 5 games with his new team. Everyone thought that general manager David Poile pulled off perhaps his best trade yet as all the Predators gave up was a 19-year old rookie defenseman in Samuel Girard, 2014 second round pick (42nd overall) Vladislav Kamenev and a 2018 second-round pick.

Girard and Kamenev were not established NHL players at the time of the trade and with already one of the strongest blue-lines in the league, the absence of Girard would certainly not ruin the Predators playoff chances/hopes.

What really made spectators everywhere sceptical about how good Matt Duchene really is and if he was worth the price the Senators paid to acquire his services was when Ottawa started losing. Seemingly, right after Turris was traded and Duchene was brought in, the Senators season was pretty much over. They started losing games and never really got back to their winning ways.

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While many people blamed the loss of Kyle Turris for the Senators struggles and claimed that Duchene was the reason the Senators were struggling, it just does not make sense to blame the trade for the Senators struggles. In fact, there is no telling that if Ottawa did not get Matt Duchene that they would still be winning hockey games and not currently in a rebuild mode. How can the acquisition of one player in exchange for another be the downfall of an entire team? Although it did take quite a few games until Duchene recorded his first point as a Senator, the entire team was having trouble scoring, not just Duchene.

After nine games, Matt Duchene finally recorded his first point for the struggling Senators team in his eighth game played. And while it took Duchene some time to really get the ball rolling, it is certainly rolling now. Only time will tell if the Colorado Avalanche truly are the winners of the trade although as of right now, it looks like they have but between the Ottawa Senators and the Nashville Predators, which team truly won the deal?

Giving up a goalie, a first pick and a former first-round pick from just months earlier is a tough pill to swallow. Similarly, giving up a 21-year-old forward who has performed admirably in the AHL so far, a rookie defenseman who made the team as a 19-year old and a second round pick may be even tougher, especially considering the goalie was put on waivers and was on the trade block when he cleared waivers. Like with Nashville, only time will tell which team gave up more for the deal as Vladislav Kamenev has not played enough in the NHL and Samuel Girard is still only 19-years-old but already looking like a solid defender. 

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As for Ottawa, it all depends how well they do next season considering the first-round pick they owe Nashville is most likely set to fall into the top-ten and is therefore protected ensuring that whatever draft position the Ottawa Senators are in next year, Nashville still obtains Ottawa’s first-round pick.

Shane Bowers has also not yet had a chance to prove himself at the NHL level as he has not yet made his NHL debut due to his obligations to Boston University of the NCAA. Colorado also acquired goaltender Andrew Hammond but because the Ottawa Senators were actively shopping him and put him on waivers ahead of the trade, it was not really a huge loss to the team as he was not a player they were interested in keeping long-term.

Although Kyle Turris started producing for his new team much quicker the Matt Duchene, his rapid point production did not last, just like Duchene’s lack of scoring production did not last either. While Kyle Turris has helped the Predators offence this season, Duchene has contributed more point wise for his team. Kyle Turris has recorded 48 points in 74 games this season, 39 of which were recorded while Turris was sporting a Nashville jersey.

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Those 30 points were scored in 52 games for the Nashville Predators. Matt Duchene, on the other hand, has scored 57 points in 79 games. As for his tenure in the nation’s capital, Duchene has scored 47 points in 65 games with the Senators.

Although it can be argued that Duchene has played more games both for his new team and for the entire season, Duchene has still scored 7 more points since the trade then Turris having played just 3 more games. It is also important to take into account the fact that Duchene has scored more points then Turris while playing on a team significantly worse in the standings.

The Senators currently sit 30th overall in the NHL standings while the Nashville Predators are the first place team in the entire league.

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For years now, Turris and Duchene have been performing very well in the NHL but to determine which team got the better deal, it is important to take a few more things into account. The asking price for both players was steep. For Duchene, the highlights of the deal were the first round pick and former first-round pick Shane Bowers that went to the Colorado Avalanche.

This was a very high price for the player. If you take into account, however, the production value per season that Duchene has produced consistently and take into account the fact that he is younger than Kyle Turris and is just entering the age group where players typically start to enter the prime of their careers at about 27, then the price does not seem to be nearly as steep. Not only has Matt Duchene played better than Kyle Turris after the trade, he’s been playing better his entire career which is impressive considering drafted two years after Turris.

Even though Turris was drafted before Duchene, Matt Duchene has still played more games, making comparing point totals not necessarily the fairest way to compare the two players. Turris has played 606 games in the NHL and has recorded 149 goals and 209 assists totalling up to 358 points. Duchene has played in 651 games and has 200 goals and 275 assists totalling up to 475 points.

David Zalubowski/The Associated Press

Although the two players have not played an even amount of time in the NHL, it is certain that Duchene is a more regular scorer. His points per game percentage are significantly higher then Turris’. Duchene owns a 0.73 points per game percentage while Kyle Turris is averaging 0.59 points per game percentage throughout his entire NHL career. 

Duchene is a younger player than Kyle Turris and has proven himself to be a more consistent scorer then Turris which can be proven based on his higher points per game percentage. Based on the prices for each of the players traded, they were each very high prices and must have been challenging to give up. Overall however, giving up a late first round pick and a top-ten protected first round pick as well as a goalie who was put on the trade block as well as waivers and was clearly not wanted on the team was not as big of a loss then giving up a 21-year old forward who has thrived in the AHL and a 19-year old defenseman who made the NHL as a 19-year old rookie and is already showing promise in the NHL level and on top of all of that, a 2018 second-round pick.

This was a lot more risky to give up because these two players involved in the deal are a lot more experienced to pro hockey and have a lot of potential. This is not to say that whoever is selected with the first-round pick sent to the Colorado Avalanche and Shane Bowers will not be better then Kamenev, Girard and whoever is selected using the second -round pick that the Avalanche acquired from the Predators, but it is safe to say that as of now, defensemen that can make the NHL as 19-year old’s are hard to come by especially ones that can stay for majority of the season and not look out of place. Kamenev is also showing a lot of promise in the AHL and could slot into the Colorado Avalanche lineup as early as next season.

Petr David Josek/The Associated Press

The package acquired for Duchene is a more safe bet than the one used for Matt Duchene as it is filled with unproven pieces, unlike the package Nashville put in place which was filled with more proven talent that has a lot of time left to truly prove themselves. Based on all the factors of the deal and by comparing the two players, it can be determined that Matt Duchene was the better acquisition between him and Kyle Turris during the blockbuster trade.

Featured Image: Andre Ringuette/Getty Images North America

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