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Prospects Corner: Spartan standout

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators prospect Derek Grant, a freshman at Michigan State, earned Central Collegiate Hockey Association rookie-of-the-week honours for his efforts during his first weekend with the Spartans. He led MSU to a pair of wins over the Clarkson Golden Knights  (Michigan State University photo).

Talk about knowing exactly how to make a great first impression.

Ottawa Senators prospect Derek Grant did just that in his season-opening weekend of play with the Michigan State Spartans. The freshman forward from Abbotsford, B.C., totalled four points — a pair in each game — during a weekend sweep of the Clarkson Golden Knights in East Lansing, Mich.

Grant had three of his four points on the power play in 6-1 and 4-3 victories over Clarkson, whose roster includes another Sens prospect, defenceman Mark Borowiecki, who scored a goal in the latter game.

The outburst earned Grant rookie-of-the-week honours in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

"He's one of those players who has really good skills who gets scoring chances," Spartans head coach Rick Comley said of Grant, a fourth-round pick by the Senators (119th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. "He missed a couple of really easy ones that I think that, as he settles down a bit, he won't miss them."

The 19-year-old Grant, a 6-3, 185-pound forward, skate on Michigan State's top line with senior Nick Sucharski of Toronto and junior Corey Tropp of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. He shares the national freshman scoring lead with Spartans classmate Zach Josepher.

Captain Cowen leading way for Chiefs

He's viewed as the Senators' shutdown defenceman of the future. But Jared Cowen, the team's top pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, is showing a bit of a scoring touch during his first few weeks of play with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League.

Cowen, who wears the captain's "C" for the Chiefs, has totalled six points in his first five games of the season in Spokane. That number includes a pair of goals — both of them game-winners — for the 4-2-1 team.

The 6-foot-5 Cowen, an 18-year-old native of Allan, Sask., was returned to the Chiefs after playing a pair of pre-season contests for the Senators — his first game action since undergoing major reconstructive knee surgery in January.

Greening a wise guy at Cornell

Left-winger Colin Greening, a seventh-round pick (204th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, is showing he's at the head of the class at Cornell.

The 23-year-old from St. John's, NL, has been named a candidate for the 2010 Lowe's Senior Class Award, which focuses on four areas of excellence: character, classroom, community and competition.

Greening, the Big Red's captain during his senior season, is one of 20 candidates on the initial list for the Lowe's award. Ten finalists will be named in January, with the winner to be announced in April.

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