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Winchester 'thrilled' to be a Senator

Wednesday, 03.26.2008 / 2:34 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Winchester \'thrilled\' to be a Senator
They call it a whirlwind, and Jesse Winchester has surely landed right in the middle of one.

And, just so you know, he’s loving every minute of it.

Mere days after finishing up his U.S. college career with the Colgate Red Raiders, the 24-year-old from nearby Long Sault, Ont., hit the ice for his first practice with the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday morning.

College free-agent Jesse Winchester looks on behind veteran forward Dean McAmmond during practice Wednesday at Scotiabank Place.
He couldn’t contain his excitement as he spoke about it all later.

“The last week has been pretty exciting,” said Winchester, who played his final game in a Colgate uniform last weekend, then signed a free-agent contract with the Senators on Monday afternoon.

“I’m thrilled to get here. The guys have been great so far in welcoming me to the new environment. I was nervous but they make you feel a part of it, so I’m grateful for that.”

Though there are some concerns about Winchester’s nagging “shoulder issue,” Senators head coach/general manager Bryan Murray is hopeful he can get the young prospect into a game before the regular season is over. According to National Hockey League rules, because of his signing date, Winchester isn’t eligible to participate in the playoffs and can’t be sent down to the Senators’ affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y.

“He said he felt okay (during practice),” said Murray. “But before I put him in, I want to make sure he’s more than okay. That may be tomorrow (against the Buffalo Sabres at Scotiabank Place), but I haven’t had the chance to talk to him.

“I want to play him a game or two, depending on where we go here and what happens. But I’d like to see him in a game.”

Winchester says he’ll work his hardest to get that opportunity. It’s the same attitude, in great part, that allowed him to grow from an undrafted player as an 18-year-old into a college free agent highly coveted by a significant number of NHL teams.

“The only thing I control is how hard I work,” said Winchester. “I’ll work my hardest every day and whether that ends up getting me into the lineup, I don’t know. I’ll give it my best every single day that I’m here.

“(Playing in the NHL) is the goal. That’s why I’ve played the game my entire life. To be this close… I can assure you I’ll do my very best every day I put on this jersey. I know that I’m here right now and I’m blessed with this opportunity, and I hope I can work my way into a game.”


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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
3 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
4 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
5 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
6 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
7 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
8 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 74 19 41 9 60
K. Turris 74 22 32 -1 54
B. Ryan 70 18 35 9 53
M. Stone 72 19 33 14 52
M. Hoffman 71 26 20 19 46
M. Zibanejad 72 19 24 2 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 54 13 14 -10 27
D. Legwand 72 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 68 11 15 -4 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 12 8 .923 2.48