David Turon is in his second year as a professional under contract with the Maple Leafs. The 6’3, 200-pound Czech defenseman played 42 games for affiliate Memphis of the CHL last season as well as 11 games for the AHL St. John’s Maple Leafs. Prior to that he played one year in the WHL for the Portland Winter Hawks. Turon was a fourth round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2002.
This season the 21-year-old has 11 points with the ECHL Pensacola Ice Pilots and is +6.
Hockey’s Future spoke with Turon after Pensacola’s 4-3 shootout win over Gwinnett on Saturday night.
HF: How do you feel like your season is going so far?
DT: I think it’s pretty good because we have a pretty good team in Pensacola, we’re in first place in the league, so it’s going good so far. Hopefully we’ll keep going.
HF: Do you feel like you in particular are playing well?
DT: Yeah, it’s OK. I think I can play better, but if the team is winning then it’s not bad if you’re playing OK. If you don’t play good and the team is losing too, then it’s harder.
HF: Do you feel like you’re playing better this year than you did last year?
DT: It’s different because it was my first year last year. Yeah, I think I’m playing better this year.
HF: What do you think you’re doing better? Are you calmer maybe?
DT: Yeah, I was like shaking my first pro game in St. John’s. I was nervous. But now it’s getting better and better.
HF: How would you compare playing in Pensacola to playing in Memphis, are the systems different?
DT: Yeah, it’s a lot different. I think it’s because of the NHL lockout, there’s a lot of better players here. It’s a different league, it’s better hockey, a lot faster. It’s better than Memphis.
HF: How about Coach Farrish, has he helped you this year?
DT: Yeah, he’s a good coach, he talks to us a lot. We’re doing really good with him.
HF: How was your adjustment to North America when you went to play with Portland, was that tough?
DT: Yeah it was. The first few weeks was really tough for me. But I did speak English a little bit, so it was easier for me than the other guy from Czech who didn’t speak English. I was helping him a lot. Yeah, it was hard, but last year was much better.
HF: So you learned English in school then?
DT: Yeah, we had like three lessons a week in high school. It helped me a little bit.
HF: You broke your collarbone the same year you went to Portland. Can you describe what happened?
DT: Yeah, it was the last day in training camp with the Maple Leafs. I had a pretty good camp, but we played a Blue and White game, and it was the last period, I think like 10 minutes to go. Somebody dumped the puck in the corner and skated for it and there was a hole in the ice or something and I just fell and hit the boards and broke my collarbone. It was pretty tough. I was out for two months.
HF: You said you thought you did well at Leafs camp, what did you think you did well?
DT: I think they were surprised because it was my first year and first camp and I wasn’t too nervous. I was trying to make some plays, pass the puck. I think that surprised them.
HF: What have they told you they want you to work on?
DT: I think they want me to play harder, hit people more, make some plays, be tougher on the ice.
HF: Do you feel like you’re accomplishing that this year?
DT: I’m trying to do it. When I came for training camp this year I was trying to hit people, do everything hard. We’ll see.
HF: What do you do in the offseason, do you go home and train?
DT: Yeah, I go home and take like a month off, doing nothing. Then I do summer practices like running, biking, go to the gym. I started skating this year in June with a couple guys from the NHL.
HF: Who were you skating with?
DT: I was practicing with (David) Vyborny and (Dominik) Hasek and a couple more guys. (Tomas) Mojzis from Manitoba.
HF: What do you feel is the best part of your game?
DT: I think I have a pretty good shot, and I can skate well too. I try to make plays.
HF: You were paired with (Ryan) O’Keefe tonight, have you been with him most of the year?
DT: Yeah, I’ve played with him the last two months.
HF: Do you think you two do well together?
DT: Yeah, he’s more defensive. I play offensively more. He stays back and I try to do some offensive stuff too. We’re doing pretty good I think.
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