Senators notebook: Borowiecki looking to make final push to NHL

Mark Borowiecki has been the poster boy for hard work since the Ottawa Senators drafted him in 2008. The fifth-round draft choice (139th overall) has made a big move up the depth chart and now finds himself within reach of a spot on the NHL team.

Senators notebook: Borowiecki looking to make final push to NHL

Mark Borowiecki has been the poster boy for hard work since the Ottawa Senators drafted him in 2008. The fifth-round draft choice (139th overall) has made a big move up the depth chart and now finds himself within reach of a spot on the NHL team.

So this summer he’s working even harder.

He’s out at Scotiabank Place every day, toiling under the guidance of conditioning coach Chris Schwarz, because when training camp finally rolls around in September, the 22-year-old Ottawa native wants to be ready.

“It’s like, the closer you get, the more you want it,” he said on Tuesday, the first day of the team’s development camp.

“I’m going to come in here and work as hard as I can and hopefully show in camp I’m ready.

“The organization has showed a lot of confidence in me, and I’m going to try to make the most of it.”

With at least one spot open on defence, the Senators will be giving three of their younger players a chance to fill it: Borowiecki, Patrick Wiercioch, and Eric Gryba.

Of the three, only Borowiecki played a game in the NHL last season, two in California against San Jose and Los Angeles.

Patrick Wiercioch last played in the NHL in 2010-11, when he played eight games. Gryba has yet to play an NHL game.

While Wiercioch and Gryba have played two full years as a professional, Borowiecki is just coming off his first full professional season, after joining Binghamton at the end of the 2010-11 season for the playoff run that ended in the Calder Cup championship.

Besides his reputation for working hard, Borowiecki’s attraction is that he’s a tough, stay-at-home defenceman, a young Matt Carkner, if you will.

He could be the player to hold the job for the next decade.

If he gets it, of course.

“Obviously I’m thinking about it … but I just have to come in and approach every day the same way,” he said. “But I think it’s time. I’m ready to prove that I’m an NHL defenceman and I want to come into camp and have a chance to show that.

“You’ve got to make the most of it. You can’t let that chance slide.

“I mean, it’s a game of opportunities, especially for a young guy coming in.

“You’re going to get that chance and you have to make the most of it.”

NOESEN AIMING HIGH

Stefan Noesen, picked in the first round of the 2011 draft (21st) overall, can play two more years of junior hockey, so it gives the Ottawa Senators some breathing room.

They don’t immediately have to open a roster spot for him this fall. They can let him return to the Plymouth Whalers and develop his game some more.

That doesn’t mean the 19-year-old Noesen is going to approach this training camp any differently. Even if he doesn’t make the team, he does want to make sure he’s noticed.

“It’s just coming to camp prepared and seeing what happens,” he said. “You can’t expect to be here, but at the same time you can’t expect to go home.

“It’s more of a tryout and you just want to come here and make a good impression and hope for the best.”

With Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad, who are expected to make the team this season, and Matt Puempel, taken three spots after him in 2011, the 6-foot-1, 198-pound Noesen is viewed as a big part of the team’s offensive future (if they don’t get traded first).

Having those expectations put on him probably two years before he arrives doesn’t bother him.

“I don’t see it as pressure, I see it as an opportunity,” he said.

“If that’s considered pressure, that’s the good kind of pressure for me. I’d rather have that pressure than nothing at all, like just be here and basically not be expected to do anything.

“There is pressure to make the team, but if I don’t, it’s a learning experience and I go back to Plymouth, put up numbers, and try to help our team win.”

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