News release

OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators announced today that the team has signed Czech forward Jiri Smejkal to a one-year, entry-level contract.

Smejkal, 26, spent the 2022-23 season with Oskarshamn IK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and ranked third in team scoring with 43 points (23 goals, 20 assists) while having skated in all but three of the team's 52 regular-season games. He also tied for fourth among team skaters in accruing 30 penalty minutes and posted a plus-three plus/minus rating.

"Jiri's signing is a good addition for us; it improves our depth and provides us with an additional bottom-six option at forward," said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. "He's a big body who's strong with previous experience playing in North America which should help his transition to a rink with smaller dimensions. We're pleased that he's committed to the Senators for the next step in his career."

Having represented his country internationally on several occasions, Smejkal is expected to play for Czechia at the upcoming 2023 IIHF World Hockey Championship. Last season, after playing for Pelicans in Finland's SM-Liiga, he helped Czechia to a bronze medal at the 2022 tournament in Latvia by way of tying for fifth in team scoring with five points (two goals, three assists) and skating in each of his country's 10 games. He also skated in each of Czechia's four contests at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and scored once.

A native of Ceske Budejovice, Czechia, Smejkal was undrafted after skating for two seasons in the Western Hockey League (2014-15 and 2015-16) with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Kamloops Blazers tallying 59 points (17 goals, 42 assists) over 130 career major junior games.

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