|Senators management liked the physical game defenceman prospect Mark Borowiecki showed during his freshman season at Clarkson University. The Kanata native was Ottawa's fifth-round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft held at Scotiabank Place.
Numbers don’t always tell the whole story.
Take, for example, the case of defenceman Mark Borowiecki, the Ottawa Senators’ fifth-round pick (139th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The 19-year-old Kanata native scored a mere two points (one goal, one assist) in 33 games during his freshman season with the Clarkson University Golden Knights. But that hardly told the whole story for the 6-foot-1, 190-pound blueliner.
“He played a lot as a freshman in a good college program,” said Brent Flahr, the Senators’ director of hockey operation, in assessing the progress made by Borowiecki. “Next year, he should have a more important role and going forward, he should be a big player for Clarkson. We’re happy with his development at this point.”
Though he racked up 26 points in 46 games for the Central Junior Hockey League’s Smiths Falls Bears in 2007-08, Borowiecki impressed the Senators brass more with his play in his own end of the ice.
“He’s a stay-at-home defenceman, a real hard-nosed kid and very physical,” said Flahr. “He’s strong in stature already for a young kid. He always likes to get involved. He has a little bit of a mean streak to him and he isn’t fun to play against. That’s always a nice asset to have as a defensive defenceman.”
"He's a stay-at-home defenceman, a real hard-nosed kid and very physical. He always likes to get involved. He has a little bit of a mean streak to him and he isn’t fun to play against. That’s always a nice asset to have as a defensive defenceman." - Brent Flahr
In other words, he supplied exactly what Golden Knights coach George Roll expected when he brought Borowiecki to the Clarkson campus in Potsdam, N.Y. – someone who
“competes at an extremely high level.”
Borowiecki, who was voted the CJHL’s top defenceman and made the league’s first all-star team two years ago, provided one of those warm NHL draft moments in 2008. Despite living a short drive away from Scotiabank Place, where the draft was held, he chose to follow the proceedings at home on NHL.com. He was in the garage when he heard his parents, Tom and Cynthia, scream with delight after they learned their son had been drafted.
"I just couldn't believe it when it said Ottawa (beside his name)," Borowiecki, a life-long Senators fan, said at the time as he proudly wore a Senators jersey inside Scotiabank Place. "It's a dream come true and every kid growing up wants it to happen. It just makes it sweeter when it's your hometown team, the team you've grown up watching.”