Author Topic: Senators' Logan Brown excited about chance of making his NHL debut  (Read 65 times)

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Senators' Logan Brown excited about chance of making his NHL debut

Judging by line combinations in practice, it appears Brown will play in the opener regardless of whether centre Derick Brassard suits up or not; Brassard has been cleared for contact in practice, but is still less than four month past surgery on a torn shoulder labrum.

Logan Brown was one of the last players off the ice Tuesday at the Canadian Tire Centre with fellow rookie forward Alex Formenton.


Both are getting their first taste of life in the National Hockey League and that means lots of hard work because, now that they’ve made the opening-night roster with the Ottawa Senators, they’d like to stay.


Brown, 19, who must return to the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires if he doesn’t stay here all season, is excited about the possibility of making his NHL debut against the Washington Capitals at home on Thursday night.


“My goal coming in here was to make the team, and it’s almost a dream come true here,” Brown said. “Hopefully, I get the chance to play in the home opener, and that’d be really special for me.


“I’m just trying to take it day by day, and I’m not really trying to look ahead or look into things. If it all works out and I play, like I said, it’s a dream come true.”


Judging by line combinations in practice, it appears Brown will play in the opener regardless of whether centre Derick Brassard suits up or not; Brassard has been cleared for contact in practice, but is still less than four month past surgery on a torn shoulder labrum.


At this point, Formenton, 18, will be scratched, but he won’t have to wait long to make his pro debut. He will likely be sent back to the OHL’s London Knights later this month.


Brown, the Senators’ top pick in the 2016 NHL draft, has made major steps in the last 12 months. Nobody would have predicted this coming into training camp, and he has been strong since the rookie tournament in Toronto in September.


“I just wanted to impress them,” the 6-foot-6 centre said. “I know the big thing for me last year was just my pace and my speed and endurance. This summer, my explosiveness was something I focused on a lot.


“I made a lot of gains in that coming here. I had a lot of confidence coming here just being on the ice a lot, getting my hands back and feeling good on the ice again. I wanted to come in here and show I really want to play in the NHL. My goal is showing I worked on that pace and endurance and I can be good for them.”


Brown’s father Jeff, an Ottawa native, was an NHL defenceman from 1986 to 1998 with stops in Quebec City, St. Louis, Vancouver, Hartford, Toronto and Washington. It would mean a lot to Logan Brown to follow in his dad’s footsteps in his hometown.


Brown’s family will be in town if he plays Thursday and his grandfather lives only a three-minute drive away from the arena.


“It’s pretty cool to follow in his legacy and do what he’s done,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t say it makes it anymore special. It’s special just because it’s something that both of us grew up dreaming about and now, hopefully, it’s coming true Thursday.”


After wearing No. 51 through camp, Brown planned to ask Senators equipment staff if he could switch to No. 21 if he made the team.


“‘I’m not a big fan of No. 51, but, if I do end up playing, maybe I’ll ask if I can switch back to my old number,” Brown said. “My dad wore No. 21 in the NHL and I’ve worn it my entire life growing up. I was in the basement watching films and I saw my dad playing wearing No. 21, so I always wanted to wear No. 21.”


THE LAST WORDS: The Senators signed 2017 fourth-round draft pick Drake Batherson to a three-year entry-level deal Tuesday. Batherson, 19, is in his third season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He has two goals and two assists in three Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games this season. His uncle is former Senators’ defenceman Dennis Vial … The Red Zone will be open Thursday at 5 p.m. as part of opening-night celebrations. on Saturday, fans are encouraged to be at the rink early to welcome Senators management, coaches and  players on the red carpet. The Red Zone will open at 4 p.m. before the Senators face the Red Wings. The club also confirmed Tuesday it would have a house band playing in the 200 level at every home game.


bgarrioch@postmedia.com


Twitter.com/sungarrioch


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