Senators sign coveted college star

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:53 PM ET

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Senators have won the Stephane Da Costa sweepstakes.

The team announced Thursday that it has signed the Merrimack College star to a two-year, entry-level contract.

It's believed most, if not all NHL clubs were interested in the right-handed shooting centre, who had 45 points in 33 games during the past season, his second in the NCAA.

Da Costa is expected to join the Senators when they return home from Florida and will be in the lineup when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place Saturday night.

The Senators play the Panthers here tonight to wrap up a swing through the Sunshine State.

Da Costa is the most recent in a string of recent college signings for the Senators. The club has plucked forwards Jesse Winchester and Bobby Butler directly off college rosters in the past few seasons.

Butler played against Da Costa in the 2009-10 season and skated with him a handful of times last summer. "I'm definitely excited," Butler said about the team's signing of the 21-year-old, Paris, France native. "He's a great player.

"He sees the ice, he makes good passes and he can score. He's got a lot to bring to the table and will help the organization.

"It's definitely a good day for Ottawa."


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