Senators Rookie Profile: Mark Borowiecki

This is my fourth profile of a Senator rookie.

Mark Borowiecki, D, Contract: 0.610/13 (RFA)
5-139 2008 (Murray), 6’2, Shoots L, YOB 1989, Kanata, Ont
2008-09 NCAA 33-1-1-2 24pim
2009-10 NCAA 35-8-11-19 55pim
2010-11 NCAA 31-3-8-11 67pim
2010-11 AHL 9-0-0-0 6pim

The Ottawa Senators have a long history of taking off-the-wall players and the 2008 draft, Bryan Murray’s first true draft, was no exception.  Murray went local in taking Kanata-boy and Smith Falls Bear Mark Borowiecki in the fifth round.  Borowiecki had been named the CJHL’s top defenceman and was committed to Clarkson in the NCAA (the Sens had him 67th on their list, http://senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=480551).

Borowiecki struggled with confidence in his rookie season at Clarkson (he still felt good about it, http://video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=45462), but in his sophomore campaign he earned the Mike Morrison Coaches’ Award for teamwork, hustle and dedication.  Head coach George Roll was a big fan, saying “His biggest asset is his competitiveness. As a coach, I know what I’m going to get game-in and game-out. He’s going to take penalties because of the way he plays, and that’s something you obviously want to limit. But his aggressiveness, to me, is what makes him an effective player. His skill set is good, his confidence grows … as I saw this year [2009-10] in his ability to rush the puck, and jump into the rush and quarterback our power play, and do all the things we needed him to do as a sophomore, which was a lot to ask.

He continued to play well this past season and decided to leave college early, turning pro and missing his senior year.  With a ATO he joined the Binghamton Senators to help the team at the end of the season.  The expectation was that Borowiecki would sit out the playoffs, but an injury to Derek Smith in the first round against Manchester gave him the opportunity to play.  Once he was part of the lineup coach Kleinendorst couldn’t take him out.  Even when Binghamton began to get healthy, Borowiecki kept his spot, with Patrick Wiercioch sitting when Derek Smith returned to the lineup.

Coming into Ottawa’s Development Camp this summer, Borowiecki had a Calder Cup on his resume and a desire to impress management.  He succeeded, earning the hardest worker award at the camp (won by Eric Gryba the previous year) and being called an NHL player by Tim Murray (June 28th, www.facebook.com/ TEAM1200).  Borowiecki the project has become Borowiecki the player.

While the organisation says that Borowiecki has a shot to make the NHL roster, I don’t see it happening.  There are too many bodies in front of him, but he will play a key role in Binghamton this coming season.  Eric Gryba is his biggest competition for a call-up, given that they play a similar style of game (although Gryba fights more).  Borowiecki won’t put up big numbers in Binghamton, but he should help make life easier for Robin Lehner.  I think the big test for Borowiecki will be NHL training camp in 2012.

Mark Borowiecki (development camp day 3 as well as a segment where he’s the cameraman): video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console
Organisational comments: senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=568466&cmpid=rss-brodie
Brent Flahr’s comments (2009): http://video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=38279
Ottawa Citizen: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/hockey/ottawa-senators/%20Borowiecki+defying+odds+rapid+development+Senators/5047852/story.html
Faceoff.com: http://www.faceoff.com/hockey/teams/ottawa-senators/Borowiecki+ defying+odds+ rapid+development/5047852/story.html
Hockey Futures profile: http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/mark_borowiecki
Brian Sullivan’s profile: http://www.silversevensens.com/2010/5/11/1465809/a-look-at-senators-defence

Next up is Andre Petersson.

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