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Prospects corner: Swede success

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Forward Jakob Silfverberg could be one of four Senators prospects wearing Sweden's colours at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Saskatoon and Regina.

This time, the world junior hockey championship won't be so close to home.

But the Ottawa Senators will have a definite interest in the goings on over the Christmas holidays in Saskatoon and Regina, the host cities for the 2010 world juniors. As many as seven Senators prospects could suit up for their respective countries in that tournament, which drops the puck on Dec. 26 in Saskatchewan.

Sweden alone could boast a quartet of future Senators. Forwards Andre Petersson (fourth round, 109th overall, 2008 NHL Entry Draft) and Jakob Silfverberg (second round, 39th, 2009) are both part of the Swedish Under-20 entry currently touring Canada, which faced off against the Carleton Ravens in Ottawa on Tuesday night. Both are considered strong candidates to wear the Tre Kronor at the world juniors.

They might be joined by defenceman Erik Karlsson, Ottawa's top pick (15th overall) in the 2008 draft, who is currently toiling with the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. Ottawa management has given him the green light to play for Sweden at the world juniors if he's still with their top farm team in late December.

No doubt the Swedes would surely make room for the 19-year-old Karlsson, who was named the top defenceman at the 2009 world juniors in Ottawa for the Tre Kronor's silver-medal winning entry. Petersson was also a part of that team.

The Senators are also hopeful that goaltender Robin Lehner (second round, 46th overall, 2009) might get a look from the Swedish team. He's off to a solid start in his first season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League.

Look for big blueliner Jared Cowen, the Senators' first-rounder (ninth overall) in the 2009 draft, to get the call to represent Canada in his home province. Fellow defenceman Patrick Wiercioch (second round, 42nd overall, 2008) has a shot at making that team as well.

Another defenceman in the Senators system, Chris Wideman (fourth round, 100th, 2009), has earned an invite to the U.S. junior team's selection camp.

Grant earns CCHA honours

Michigan State freshman forward Derek Grant, a fourth-round pick (119th overall) in the 2008 draft, has been named rookie of the month for October in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

The 19-year-old Grant is tied for top spot in the nation among rookies with 10 points (four goals, six assists), which also ranks him second overall in conference scoring behind Spartans teammate Corey Tropp.

Earlier this season, Grant was selected as the CCHA rookie of the week for Oct. 12.

Hoffman, Sea Dogs on a roll

Riding a team-record nine-game winning streak, the Saint John Sea Dogs have soared to the top of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings with a 17-4-1 record. And overage centre Mike Hoffman has played a hand in that success.

The Senators prospect has racked up 13 points in 11 games, including eight goals, and sports a plus-10 rating. It's a more than decent start for a guy who notched 52 goals in 2008-09 in helping the Drummondville Voltigeurs make it to the Memorial Cup.

Hoffman was a fifth-round pick (130th overall) by the Senators in the 2009 draft.

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