Sens GM hopes to see fired-up Wick

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:47 PM ET

Throw in the name Roman Wick with the clump of those who will battle for a forward spot when the Senators open camp in September.

His addition could even give GM Bryan Murray some more ammo to pursue a trade.

Wick, a 24-year-old Swiss winger who the Senators picked in the fifth round of the 2004 entry draft, was signed to a one-year, two-way contract Tuesday.

A former member of the Red Deer Rebels, he went back to his homeland after his WHL days were over and proceeded to develop into a scoring star with EHC Kloten Flyers of the Swiss A Division.

The Senators also re-signed defenceman Derek Smith to a one-year, two-way contract Tuesday. Smith, 25, had 14 goals and 37 assists for Binghamton last season. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Belleville native played two games for Ottawa, averaging over 12 minutes of ice time in each.

Wick, a 6-foot-1, 187-pounder, caught the eye of hockey-watchers around the world at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. In five games, he registered two goals, three assists and two penalty minutes.

In Canada’s 3-2 shootout win over Switzerland in the preliminary round, he was stopped by goalie Martin Brodeur on a shootout attempt.

With former NCAA sniper Bobby Butler also pushing for a job, Murray has a plethora of forwards from which to possibly make a deal.

“We’ve talked for some time to Roman,” said Murray. “It looks like he’s developed into a pretty well-rounded player. He’s a tall kid who was lacking strength early on. He’s matured physically, he’s got skill, he’s got a good shot, he works real hard with the puck.

“I think Roman’s shortcoming will be just his involvement in the smaller ice surface right now. But we’ll give him an awfully good look through training camp and the early part of the season. He looks like a candidate to play in the NHL at some point. Whether he can start, or have to start in Binghamton, I think that will be the question he’ll answer with his performance in camp.

“But a guy with talent, skill and was an outstanding player for Switzerland, he (had) big, big games in the Olympic games and based on that alone, you have to take a real serious look at him. It looked like he could compete against the better players on other countries. He didn’t look out of place. So you’ve got to think he has a real good chance.”

Murray said Wick is a similar player to Peter Regin, particularly in size and stature. Regin made the Senators out of camp last season and developed into an impact player in the second half of the season.

“His talent would be best served in the top six (forward spots),” Murray said of Wick, “but that doesn’t always mean you fit there.”

Murray still has three unsigned players in Nick Foligno, Chris Campoli and Regin. The latter two have filed for arbitration.

“Over the next little while, we’ll be on the phone with the agents and hopefully get something done,” said Murray.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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