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Former Express star honoured by new BCHL award

New Westminster's Kyle Turris has been an enthusiastic supporter for an adaptive hockey program.
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Former Express star Kyle Turris capped his junior hockey career by being selected third overall in the 2007 NHL Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes. Tuesday, the BC Hockey League announced a new award recognizing players' community service would be named for him.

The BC Hockey League (BCHL) is naming a new award after a former Express star.

The Kyle Turris Community Award honours one player on each team in the league for their service and dedication to their community.

Turris, who grew up in New Westminster, played for the Express while the team was based in Burnaby as it awaited renovations at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex to be completed.

In 2005-06, he led the team to the Fred Page Cup league championship and a Royal Bank Cup national Junior 'A' title. The following season he finished second in league scoring with 121 points in 53 games, then added another 24 points in 16 playoff games.

That summer, Turris was selected third overall in the NHL entry draft by the Phoenix Coyotes, but he didn’t join the team until after he completed a season at the University of Wisconsin.

Turris spent his first three seasons as a professional shuttling between the Coyotes and the team’s minor league affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, that plays in the American Hockey League.

In 2011, Turris was traded to the Ottawa Senators for David Rundblad and a second round draft pick.

It was in Ottawa where Turris really hit his stride, on the ice and in the community. He scored 265 points in 396 games in six seasons with the Senators.

He and his wife, Julie, also became a part of the Capital City Condors, a community team that provided adaptive hockey opportunities to kids who are unable to play on other organized hockey teams because of cognitive or physical challenges.

"To have a trophy like this named after me, where it’s not necessarily what you’ve done on the ice, but helping people off the ice and taking advantage of the position that you’re in to affect change, it’s very important," Turris said in a news release.

Though Turris was traded to the Nashville Predators early in the 2017-18 season, he continued his connection to the Condors by helping to raise funds to bring 100 players and parents to his new home to showcase adaptive hockey in hopes of jumpstarting a similar effort.

In 2020, the Edmonton Oilers signed Turris as a free agent. About to turn 33-years-old, he’s currently on the market again, as an unrestricted free agent.