Turris Goes Pro

One day after being eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, freshman Kyle Turris signs a pro contract with the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes.

MADISON - Freshman forward Kyle Turris (New Westminster, British Columbia) has signed with the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL and will pass on his final three years of men's hockey eligibility at the University of Wisconsin.

The No. 3 overall draft pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in last summer's NHL entry draft, Turris became the fourth Badger in school history to lead the team in scoring as a freshman when he posted 35 points in 36 games played (Joe Pavelski, Mike Eaves and Dennis Olmstead were the others). He finished the season as the UW leader with 35 points, 24 assists and one short-handed goal, while ranking second with 114 shots and a plus-11 rating. He finished third with 11 goals and two game-winning tallies.

The WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year, Turris was named All-WCHA Third Team and All-WCHA Rookie Team for his freshman season. He was the October CSTV/Commissioners' Choice Rookie of the Month and the WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for Oct. 23 after beginning his college career with five goals and 12 points in his first four games.

During the season, Turris led Team Canada to gold at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship, scoring a team-best eight points on four goals and four assists.

Turris becomes the first Badger since Ryan Suter in 2004 to leave after just one season wearing the Cardinal and White, and is the sixth early departure during the Mike Eaves' coaching era.

Turris is expected to be in the Phoenix lineup for the Coyotes' final three games of the season beginning Thursday at home against Dallas. The Coyotes finish at Dallas on Friday, before skating at Anaheim on Sunday. The Coyotes were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday night.

The Phoenix Coyotes are coached by Wayne Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leading scorer.

Early Departures to the NHL Under Eaves

Kyle Turris - Fr. - Phoenix Coyotes 2008

Jack Skille - So. - Chicago Blackhawks 2007

Joe Piskula - Jr. - Los Angeles Kings 2007

Robbie Earl - Jr. - Toronto Maple Leafs 2006

Joe Pavelski - So. - San Jose Sharks 2006

Ryan Suter - Fr. - Nashville Predators 2004

Four-Year Badgers in the NHL Under Eaves

Brian Elliott - Ottawa Senators 2007

Jake Dowell - Chicago Blackhawks 2007

Adam Burish - Chicago Blackhawks 2006

Tom Gilbert - Edmonton Oilers 2006

Rene Bourque - Chicago Blackhawks 2004

Andy Wozniewski - Toronto Maple Leafs 2004

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