At the most recent BCHL Annual General Meeting, the Board of Governors unanimously voted in favour of updating the names of several year-end awards, as well as adding a pair of new trophies. This week, the league will unveil the two new awards.
The latest award introduced by the BCHL is the Kyle Turris Community Award, named after former Burnaby Express standout and 14-year NHL veteran Kyle Turris.
One player from each team will be given the award for a total of 18 different winners at the end of the year. The teams will select their own winner and submit their recipient to the league office. The award is meant to recognize players who go above and beyond in their BCHL community.
Turris was drafted third overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes and remains the highest player ever selected directly from the BCHL.
Over the years, he has become known for his community initiatives, especially during his time with the Ottawa Senators where he and his wife Julie were honourary captains of the Capital City Condors, a community team for those who are unable to play on any other hockey team due to a cognitive and/or physical disability.
“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,” said Turris. “It’s a very special part of the sport.”
“When I got traded to Ottawa, it was a very big part of the organization, to be in the community and to help with different causes. It was a lot more than hockey.”
Turris, a product of New Westminster, B.C., played two seasons with the Express from 2005 to 2007. He put up 72 points in 57 games as a 16-year-old in his first year in the league to win the Rookie of the Year award. He would go on to lead his team to a Fred Page Cup title and a national championship. His second year in the league, Turris finished second in league scoring with 111 points in 48 games and led the BCHL in goals with 60, good enough to win the Vern Dye Memorial Trophy as Coastal Conference MVP.
The 32-year-old played one season at the University of Wisconsin before turning pro with the Coyotes. He would go on to play for the Senators, Nashville Predators and the Edmonton Oilers where he spent the past two seasons.