|Jared Cowen got to try on a Senators uniform for an Upper Deck photo session during the summer. Now he'll wear it for real in a pre-season game against the Canadiens in Montreal on Friday night (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images).
had a feeling his turn was about to arrive.
Little did the big 18-year-old blueliner, who figures to be a big part of the Ottawa Senators future, realize it would come so soon.
When the Senators announced their lineup for Friday's pre-season game in Montreal against the Canadiens (7:30 p.m., RDS, Team 1200), the ninth overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft was one of the most prominent and startling on the list.
Truth be told, the news couldn't come soon enough for the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Cowen, who hasn't seen any game action since undergoing major knee surgery in February to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament. A few hours before the lineup was announced, the native of Allan, Sask., talked about how eager he was to finally feel the ice underneath him for real again.
"I think the plan is for me to play in a pre-season game before I go back (to the Spokane Chiefs, his junior team)," said Cowen. "I don't know how long it's going to take, but I think it's pretty close now.
"Playing any game right now would be exciting for me but playing in the NHL would be very exciting. It's been a long time coming now, so I can't wait for that, for sure."
The wait is obviously over now for Cowen, who was fitted with a knee brace last week and said "I'm just getting used to that."
"Other than that, it's just getting used to full-length practices and full speed," he said. "It's definitely faster (here). It's hard enough for any new guy coming in, but I think it's even harder when you're coming back from an injury like (mine). It's kind of doubled how much of an impact it's had on me so far."
"Playing any game right now would be exciting for me but playing in the NHL would be very exciting. It's been a long time coming now, so I can't wait for that, for sure." - Jared Cowen
Here's the Senators' complete lineup for Friday's game in Montreal:Goaltenders:
Pascal Leclaire, Robin Lehner
Chris Campoli, Alex Picard, Brian Lee, Geoff Kinrade
, Jared Cowen
, Matt Carkner
Christoph Schubert, Milan Michalek
, Daniel Alfredsson
, Jesse Winchester
, Jason Spezza
, Chris Kelly, Chris Neil
, Peter Regin
, Zack Smith
, Jeremy Yablonski, Ilya Zubov
, Cody Bass.Around the boards
The Senators reduced their roster to 40 players today by sending six players to their American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y. Designated for assignment were defencemen Drew Bannister and Tomas Kudelka, forwards Erik Condra
, Denis Hamel and Jim O'Brien
, and goaltender Chris Holt. That leaves five goaltenders, 10 defencemen and 25 forwards still in camp ... The Senators' next home pre-season game is Saturday at Scotiabank Place against the Canadiens (7 p.m., Rogers 22, Team 1200).