Dominic Turgeon comes in at #15 on our list here at Wings Nation. The 6’2″, 200lbs centre has been an important leader on the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks as both their captain last season and their top scorer. Largely considered a shutdown guy with the ability to infuriate any 1C in his league, this past season we got to see some of his offensive ability really shine. While he may not put up the offensive numbers his father Pierre Turgeon did, Dominic could fit nicely into the Red Wings model. As his comfort increases at every level, so does his play and his importance to his team. While our #15 ranking may seem low, the kid is still only 20 years old and after last season, the ceiling seems higher on this guy than initially thought.
BY THE NUMBERS
Slow but steady growth for Turgeon. Early in his WHL career he was busy making a name for himself on the defensive side of the puck. He plays a complete game and is a valuable asset in all types of situations. While his playoff numbers might not dazzle, that’s where you get a sense of the type of player Turgeon is. When the competition gets stiff, he’s depended on heavily as a shutdown guy for a Portland Winterhawks’ team that has seen a lot of playoff success with Turgeon on the roster.
Although last season ended with an early knockout and shoulder surgery for Turgeon, he proved he belonged alongside the elite in the WHL and was ready to make the next jump sooner than later.
Dominic Turgeon has the potential to be a very interesting player in Detroit’s system. For close to a decade now Detroit has drafted, developed and signed a supporting cast of bottom-six forwards who have found themselves mainstays in the lineup. While dependability and versatility have been consistent values in Detroit’s bottom-six, lack of production has been a major issue. When the points stopped coming from the top line, or a major injury crippled the team, help has always come externally (at a cost) and has rarely come from any depth players. What Turgeon potentially offers is the dependability, the 200-foot game that the Wings love on their 3rd and 4th lines while also having the ability to generate offense.
Teams like Washington and Tampa Bay, top teams in the East, have players like Burakovsky and Namestnikov in their bottom-six generating scoring chances against weaker, slower opponents and offering some relief to top lines that can get worn down throughout the season. If Detroit wants to be competitive they’re going to have to start producing depth that can play at the levels these other teams are. Depth that does more than just skate fast, win draws or kill penalties for $2M a season.
Having a player like Turgeon is the best of both worlds for the Wings. You get that defensively sound role player they churn out every year but you also get with it a skill set that has the potential to be tapped into and harvested with proper development. If he spends a few years in the AHL, Turgeon could time himself right onto a roster with some holes in the bottom-six by that point. More skill than a player like Ferraro who couldn’t stick, but not seen as a waste of talent for not cracking the top-six like a Pulkkinen or a Jurco. I believe with the way the Wings develop and covet certain types of players, we’re very likely to see Turgeon in a Wings jersey in a few years.
So while #15 may not seem like anything to write home about, Turgeon is certainly a player Wings fans should keep an eye on. He’s unique in the way he sits in that grey area on a team filled with lines otherwise so clearly drawn between their top-six and bottom-six projected forwards. All eyes will be on his ability to produce at a higher level should he spend time in the AHL this season where everyone could get a better sense of the trajectory of his development.