OTTAWA – Zack Smith and Colin Greening are both in the plans for the Ottawa Senators next season.
The NHL team signed the two young forwards to one-way contracts on Thursday—Greening received a three-year deal while Smith inked a two-year deal.
Both are currently part of the Binghamton Senators team that has advanced to the AHL’s Calder Cup final and can count on full-time work in the NHL next fall.
“I think the playoff run has helped the two of them, plus many other young players in the group,” said Senators GM Bryan Murray. “We feel now that the job that’s been done there, the depth that we have down there, really allows us to be optimistic for the Ottawa Senators next year.”
Smith was a third-round pick of Ottawa’s in 2008 and appeared in 55 games with the Senators this season. He had nine points (4-5) and 120 penalty minutes.
Murray envisions him filling a spot on the team’s third line.
“He certainly has matured in his overall game and it looks like he has some offensive ability to go with it,” said Murray. “We’re very, very happy to get Zack in a situation where he can play with the big team next year.”
Greening didn’t get his first NHL opportunity until the Senators began trading away veteran players late in the season.
The 25-year-old from St. John’s, N.L., made a strong impression with six goals and 13 points in 24 games.
“He’s a player we thought would take a little more time,” said Murray. “But obviously the opportunity after the trading deadline to play games in Ottawa helped him a great deal. I think his skating, his size and his strength are the biggest assets.
“He knows how to check and he’s a willing worker.”