Ottawa – The Ottawa Jr. Senators have committed to 19 year old defenceman Faisal Alsaif. A native of Great Falls, Virginia, the 5’10 rearguard split last season between Choate Rosemary Hall of the USHS-Prep, and the Yale Jr. Bulldogs of the U.S. Midget AAA league.
Alsaif had some good options available to him, but ultimately, the decision to join the Jr. Senators was too difficult to pass up.
“I was surveying my options, and it ended up being an easy decision to sign with Ottawa. I had heard nothing but great things about the coaching staff and the organization, and when I went up for a practice this was all evident. After that I started following how they were doing in the playoffs and coming off a championship season, I knew this was where I had to be to reach my goals as a player. I felt that a strong team in a strong league with coaches who emphasize player development and who do their best to showcase their players to coaches at the next level was where I wanted to be.”
Head Coach & GM Martin Dagenais thinks that Alsaif has the potential to become a very good two-way defenceman in the CCHL, even if he will likely be the Senators’ smallest player at that position. For his part, Alsaif is not at all concerned with his size. He’s heard people debate about it for a few years now, and it only serves him as extra motivation.
“For much of my hockey career I’ve been called an “undersized” defenseman. However, I do not view this as a weakness in my game. I am a mobile puck moving defenseman who knows when to take his lanes and skate the puck up the ice, but I’m also not afraid to play the body either. I view my skating as one of best strengths as a player and like to use my feet and get the puck up the ice when I see an opening. I have an offensive edge to my game, while knowing when to stay back and not sacrifice an odd man rush going the other way.”
Alsaif’s short term goal is to improve every day as a player, and become an integral part of his team. At the very end, he would also like to help Ottawa win the Bogart Cup for a second consecutive season. Like most players who commit to play in the CCHL, his long term goal is to play at the NCAA Div. 1 level.
“My goals for the future are simple. I had a disappointing year scoring wise last season, so I want to surpass my numbers from last year, but I want to do it by playing the right way. Additionally, I set smaller goals each game I wish to accomplish. Ultimately, I want to show college coaches what I know I am capable of doing and that is playing at the next level with a NCAA Div. 1 hockey team.”