Dec. 17, 2011 marked the end of the Turris saga in a Coyotes sweater. By this time, the former third overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft had fallen out of favor with the fan base and organization that drafted him. The trade came 25 days after the New Westminster, BC native rejoined the team after ending his time as an unsigned RFA. His late signing cost him the first 19 games of the 2011-12 season.
In Canada's capital, another former first round pick was already playing for his second franchise. In the shadow of fellow Swedish offensive defenseman Erik Karlsson, David Rundblad started his Senators career with four points and a -11 rating in 24 games. Like Turris in Phoenix, Rundblad was quickly falling out of favor in Ottawa.
A typical "I'll trade my flawed prospect for your flawed prospect" deal emerged that sent two former top-20 picks across the continent.
Two years later, Turris has found his groove and is living up to the potential Wayne Gretzky and company saw in him a half dozen years ago. The former Wisconsin Badger set career highs in goals (12), assists (17) and points (29) in his 49 games to finish up the 2011-12 season. Turris matched those numbers exactly in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. In 35 games this year, the 24-year-old has already set a new career high in assists (20) and is on pace to obliterate his career high in points.
Rundblad, on the other hand, is stuck behind an embarrassment of riches on Phoenix's blueline. He's played a mere 24 games with the main club recording five assists. The 23-year-old has never played more than four games in a row with the Coyotes. In 80 games with the team's AHL affiliate Portland Pirates, Rundblad has scored 16 goals and 55 points. Rundblad's future in Phoenix is uncertain as the team's reluctance to play him has pushed fellow RD Michael Stone and Connor Murphy up the depth chart. Inconsistent playing time and defensive partners have stunted his growth.
That second round pick? The Coyotes traded it (along with goaltender Curtis McElhinney and a conditional fourth rounder) to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Antoine Vermette. After it was all said and done, the Philadelphia Flyers selected goaltender Anthony Stolarz with that pick. Stolarz is currently the starting goalie for the London Knights of the OHL.
The Coyotes probably wish things would have worked out better with Turris as their blueline is far stronger than their skill up front. In the end, Phoenix swapped Turris for Rundbald and a big part of Vermette.