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Senators Sign Collegiate UFA Garrett Thompson to ELC

As more and more collegiate free agent teams are eliminated from 2013/14 play, . A number of NHL teams have already jumped into the fray, so it was probably only a matter of time before the Ottawa Senators made a signing of their own.

Today the organization formally announced that they had signed Ferris State’s Garrett Thompson to a one-year entry-level contract.

From the press release:

A native of Traverse City, Mich., Thompson played in 42 games this past season, scoring a team-high 16 goals and adding 16 assists to tie for the team lead with 32 points. Thompson, one of the team’s assistant captains, also recorded 42 penalty minutes. In four years with the Bulldogs, the 24-year-old recorded 87 points (42 goals, 45 assists) over 139 games.

Prior to attending Ferris State, the 6-2, 191-pound, winger spent three seasons (2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10) with the Traverse City (Mich.) North Stars of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where he scored 40 goals and added 40 assists in 121 games.

Finding information on Thompson on the Interwebs has proven to be difficult, but Joy Lindsay did tweet the link to an article in the Ferris State Torch from last season that encapsulates what kind of player Thompson is.

According to his Ferris State head coach Jon Daniels, Thompson’s skillset does not garner many accolades.

“He wasn’t a guy who was high on our radar or many other college teams. I think we were the only school to recruit him. Lots of times you know you have a good player, and we thought we had a solid player. He has certainly exceeded our expectations.”

Instead Thompson’s hard work and on-ice aptitude is what creates turnovers and offence for his linemates.

Thompson uses his reach, stick handling and knowledge of the forecheck to punish opponents in their offensive zone. In the Bulldogs’ defensive zone, he knocks the puck out of opponents’ reach to create a play.

Rolling the dice on a hardworking player who has a strong hockey IQ is never a bad thing, but when you’re a 24-year old collegiate free agent, it’s probably safe to assume that he’s the type of low ceiling high floor prospects that the Senators already have an abundance of.

Over the years, for heavily recruited prospects, we’ve seen the organization extend prospects like Stephane Da Costa or Bobby Butler an opportunity to join the parent club straight out of school and into the Senators’ lineup.

Thompson won’t get that luxury. Instead, he’ll follow the path of other collegiate free agents and overage junior free agents (ie. Cole Schneider, David Dziurzynski, Andrew Hammond, Buddy Robinson, Wacey Hamilton and Troy Rutkowski) and replenish the depth in Binghamton. And with Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them in Ottawa, Binghamton certainly could use some added depth to replace these bodies.

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