Senators prospects fan-tastic

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:57 AM ET

OTTAWA - Frosh week wrapped up Monday at the Bell Sensplex.

The Senators got a glimpse of their future by closing out their week-long development camp for 36 prospects with a 3-on-3 tournament in front of a packed house with the summer finally set to officially begin.

While most will be back for the rookie camp and tournament in September in Oshawa, some players sent notice that they’re going to push for spots when training camp opens Sept. 17 at Scotiabank Place.

“There’ll be three to five (guys who push for spots),” said Senators GM Bryan Murray. “That’s a really good number. I always believe that with young people if you have room and you put them on your team they just get better when the second half comes around. You have to win in the first half as well.

“(A spot) isn’t going to be available to every one of them. We’ll have these guys at training camp and we’ll see how they do when they start playing games.”

Ready to play

Murray said Jared Cowen and David Rundblad both look ready to play next year. Top pick Mika Zibanajad will push for a spot, while the club will try to convince forward Jakob Silfverberg, who plans to play in Sweden next year, to come over.

“I’m just going to tell him I think he’s ready,” said Murray.

A guy who has really raised his status is Kanata native Mark Borowiecki. The Clarkson graduate, who was drafted No. 139 overall in the fifth round in 2008, was voted the “Hardest Working Player” by the staff.

Past winners of the award include Mike Fisher, Chris Neil, Colin Greening, Jesse Winchester and Robin Lehner. All have gone on to dress in an Ottawa uniform. That’s good news for Borowiecki, who finished the year in Binghamton.

“The playoffs in Binghamton did a lot for (me) as a player and as a person,” said Borowiecki. “I felt comfortable out there and, hopefully, management will like what they saw.

“That’s the way I play my game: Hard work and intensity. That’s kind of been my M.O. It’s something that I want to keep all the way through my career. I’ve had a lot of great coaches help me out by instilling that work ethic.”

Randy Lee, the club’s director of player development, couldn’t have been happier with the way the prospects performed.

“They’re all going to try to make the team in September, but realistically I think there’s (five or six) guys who are going to push for spots,” said Lee.

“But, a lot can change. This is July and some guys are going to change over the summer.

“You can ask these players — this has been a different camp. There has been a lot of teaching and a lot of information,” Lee said.

“Some guys run with it and some guys don’t. The motivating factor for the young guys is the competition in camp.”

Keller gone

The Senators have lost their Binghamton captain. Ryan Keller, Bingo’s leading goal scorer the past two seasons with 34 and 32, has signed a two-way deal with the Edmonton Oilers (Oklahoma City Barons). He’ll get $625,000 if he plays with the Oilers, and $225,000 (a $75,000 raise from last season) if he’s in the AHL.


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