Friday, August 15, 2008

Sens Army Blog presents: The Elmira Jackals

After the announcement of the Ottawa Senators' (and, by association, the Binghamton Senators') affiliation with the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL, I figured I'd look into the history of the team to give members of Sens Army an introduction.

Undoubtedly, this is a move to help GM Bryan Murray and assistant GM Tim Murray continue to build up the team's North American depth. With the B-Sens and the Jackals, there are now two levels of development within the Senators organization for recent draft picks--North American or Europeans--to get used to pro hockey. And Elmira is only a little more than an hour away from Binghamton, so when the B-Sens need a call-up they should be in pretty good shape.

You can read a bit about team history on their Wikipedia page, which is pretty well done. The team made the playoffs for the first time in four years last season, but--just like the Senators--got eliminated in the first round.

The Jackals roster is still taking shape, but the team's first three signings for 2008-09 were made last week. Centre Benoit Doucet, right wing Pierre-Luc Faubert, and defenseman Brandon Roach are the first members of the Senators-era Jackals, and undoubtedly some of the Sens' prospects will find their way onto the Elmira roster. As a rookie last season, Doucet led the team in goals (31), assists (52), and points (83) in 2007-08, and he was fifth in league scoring. Keeping him on the roster must have been a priority. Faubert was second on the team in scoring, and Roach--an Acadia University alumnus--scored 34 points with the Florida Everblades (BWAHAHAHA!) last season.

Even though the affiliation wasn't official, a few Senators prospects played for the Jackals last season, including the likes of Shawn Weller (2004, 77 overall), Jim McKenzie (2004, 141 overall), Tomas Kudelka (2005, 136 overall), Scott May, and Tyler Donati. The latter two (May and Donati) played with Bingo and were loaned to Elmira.

That's probably more than you need to know about the Sens' AA affiliate. But now you know it.
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