OTTAWA -- Robin Lehner proved mature beyond his years.
The 18-year-old Swedish goalie was returned to the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds last night, but the Ottawa Senators took a long, hard look at having their 2009 second-round pick turn pro.
Lehner might be too advanced for the OHL, but the Senators have Mike Brodeur and Andy Chiodo earmarked to play for their AHL farm club in Binghamton.
The club decided a year in the Soo will not hurt Lehner, who is very self-confident.
"If you go out on the ice and think you're the fourth goalie, you will be the fourth goalie," Lehner said before he left. "You have to go out and believe you're the first goalie to get some success. I compete with (Pascal) Leclaire. I compete with (Brian) Elliott. I compete with everyone. I don't care if it's Patrick Roy, I will compete with him, too. That's what makes me better on the ice."
Lehner, who spent last year with Frolunda, has to get used to playing the North American game. He had a 2.50 GAA and .925 save percentage in the 48 minutes he received in the pre-season.
"I would say he exceeded our expectations," assistant GM Tim Murray said. "He'll be on the bus, he'll get to play a full schedule -- which he hasn't done in Sweden -- and he'll get to play against players up to 20 years old who are pretty good players.
"The whole thing will be good for him: The grind of the travel, playing three games in four days and all that stuff is good for development. I think he'll rise to the challenge."