Wisconsin freshman Turris making an early exit to Phoenix

One year in Madison was enough for Wisconsin freshman forward Kyle Turris.

The third overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft signed with the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday – less than 24 hours after the Badgers were knocked out of the NCAA tournament, according to Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney.

“We are very excited to sign Kyle and have him join the Coyotes organization,” Maloney said in a press release. “He is a very talented player and is a big part of our future.”

Turris led Wisconsin with 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists) and was named to the All-WCHA Third Team and the All-WCHA Rookie Team.

“It was a tough decision because I love Wisconsin,” Turris told the Capital Times. “I wouldn’t have traded this year for the world.”

Turris will join the Coyotes, who have four regular season games remaining, immediately -giving the freshman a few games to adjust before his second playoff run of the year begins.

“They showed a lot of interest and wanted me to come for the last couple of games to get experience for next year.”

The forward joins Michigan Tech goalie Michael-Lee Teslak and Minnesota State forward Jon Kalinski, both now members of the Philadelphia Flyers organization, as the first notable players to leave school early and sign with NHL teams.

Minnesota junior forward Blake Wheeler, also a Coyotes draftee, said he hasn’t made a decision about his future yet and now wasn’t the time to do so.

“There’s probably going to be some decisions made this summer,” the Gophers’ top scorer said.

Brian Deutsch

Softball canceled

Minnesota’s midweek game scheduled for this afternoon against the University of North Dakota was canceled after Monday’s snow storm made the Gophers’ Jane Sage Cowles Stadium unplayable.

The games will not be rescheduled as Minnesota will pick up play this weekend with a 4 p.m. game against Indiana at home Friday.

Paul Cordes