Mark Borowiecki says nothing can come close to the day in June, 2008, when, before a home crowd at Scotiabank Place, he became the first Ottawa native picked by the Senators in the NHL draft.
Friday was pretty close, though. That’s when he signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Senators.
The 21-year-old defenceman will finish the season with the Binghamton Senators on an amateur tryout agreement. That prevents the Senators from having to use a year of his contract just for these last few weeks of the AHL regular season.
“It doesn’t even seem real right now,” said Borowiecki.
It happened pretty quick, but I’m pretty happy right now.”
The 6-1, 205-pound defenceman was the team’s fifth-round pick (139th overall) in 2008. He just completed his third season at Clarkson University, where he was the team captain.
In 31 games this season, he tied for the team lead in scoring among defencemen with 11 points on three goals and eight assists, while accumulating a career-high 67 penalty minutes. In three years at Clarkson, he had 12 goals, 20 assists and 146 penalty minutes in 99 games.
Before attending Clarkson, Borowiecki played two seasons for the Smiths Falls Bears of the Central Junior Hockey League. In 2007-08, he was named the CJHL’s top defenceman.
He had some thoughts about leaving Clarkson one year short of graduating but decided it was time.
“Just talking with my coaches, my agent, the (Senators), we just thought if ever a window presented itself, it was now,” he said.
“Hopefully things will work out. Just keep working hard and hopefully I’ll get my chance.”
Assistant general manager Tim Murray described Borowiecki as primarily a defensive defenceman but one with offensive skills. Leaving Clarkson at this time, said Murray, was probably the best thing.
“We look forward to having a real character local guy here in the fold,” he said.