Brandon Wheat Kings' forward Mark Stone has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the NHL's Ottawa Senators.
Stone was the Senators' sixth round pick in the 2010 Draft, and is coming off a season where he finished tied for third in the WHL in scoring with 106 points.
"I'm obviously very excited to get the first contract out of the way, and just focus on playing hockey this season," said Stone in an interview on Monday afternoon, "It's something that I wanted to do coming into camp and I'm just fortunate enough to get it down."
The Winnipeg product had until July 1st of next year to agree to a deal with Ottawa, and I asked him why he felt now was a good time to sign on the dotted line.
"It's just one less thing to worry about going forward," said Stone, "It was the right time and the right deal that came up and I just thought it was a no-brainer to sign it."
Stone will play for the Sens in their pre-season game in Toronto on Monday night.
He stated before heading to Ottawa's camp that his goal was to make the Senators.
"It's a little bit of a tough goal to set for yourself, to make a team like this," said Stone, "I feel that I've played pretty well but still haven't played my best. They're giving me a chance to play in a pre-season game tonight so I want to make a good impression and stick here as long as I can."
Terms of Stone's deal with the Senators were not released.
**UPDATE - 4:00 p.m. September 19, 2011**
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported via Twitter on Monday afternoon that The Senators will return Mark Stone to junior even though he signed today. He will play big role for Team Canada at world juniors.
Chaff...Brandon's Spencer Galbraith will not be suspended for accumulation of game misconducts during the pre-season. The 18-year defenceman picked up three...the WHL released the SHAW broadcast schedule Monday, and the Wheat Kings will be featured three times including Thursday's season opener in Moose Jaw. The complete schedule is available here...former Wheat King Jordan DePape has been returned to the WHL's Kamloops Blazers by the Winnipeg Jets...check out Monday's edition of Coaches' Corner with Wheat Kings' coach Cory Clouston here...former Wheat Kings' Shayne Wiebe (Jets) and Matt Calvert (Blue Jackets) will be in their respective team's lineup in tomorrow's NHL pre-season game at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg...it's expected former Wheat King David Toews to play for Chicago in NHL pre-season game vs. Edmonton in Saskatoon tomorrow night, but that hasn't yet been confirmed by the club.
I have been the voice of the Brandon Wheat Kings and Sports Director at CKLQ Radio in Brandon since 1993.
The purpose of my blog is to provide you with up-to-date Wheat Kings' news and items.
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