The better fantasy own – Matt Duchene or Kyle Turris? Answer will surprise you.
This week's Cage Match examines two young centers – Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris – who most poolies would love to have on their teams right now. But which one will help your squad more over the course of the full season and beyond? You don't need a crystal ball when you have Cage Match to tell the future!
Career Path and Contract Status
Both Duchene (in 2009) and Turris (in 2007) are former third overall draft picks; but that's pretty much all they have in common in terms of what led them to this point in their careers.
Duchene was inserted into the NHL fulltime as an 18 year old, and oh boy did he hit the ground running, amassing 132 points in his first 161 games. His totals fell back a bit during the 2011-12 season that saw him dress for only 58 games due to leg and ankle injuries, playing hurt after the latter which led to him not even managing a 0.5 points per game output for the season. But any concerns about Duchene's productivity have likely vanished after he rebounded to 43 points in 48 games last season and has come out of the gate this year with 19 points in his first 16 games.
Turris' career journey has been more of a bumpy ride, particularly with Phoenix, where he spent his first three campaigns being shuttled between the NHL and AHL and compiled only 46 points in 131 NHL games. Then as an RFA prior to the 2011-12 season, Turris held out well into November before finally agreeing to a two year $2.8M deal with the Coyotes, who traded him to Ottawa almost before the ink had dried on the contract. With the Senators, Turris immediately showed signs of his true talent, tallying 58 points in 97 games. But he has really emerged in 2013-14, with 18 points through 17 games.
Turris agreed to a five year, $17.5M deal with Ottawa in August 2012 (to run through 2018), while Duchene is finishing a two year $7M contract this season before starting a new five year $30M deal.
Overall, Duchene gets the edge here as more of a proven commodity, although Turris' fairly steady upward trajectory without a bad year "hiccup" like Duchene had in 2011-12 does win him some points.
Ice Time – Past Seasons and 2013-14 So Far
When considering this data, it's worth remembering that Turris' 2010-11 numbers were with Phoenix. And I only included his 2011-12 Ottawa numbers, not factoring in the six games he played with Phoenix that season before being dealt.