In need of filling some holes on their blueline heading into the 2019 CCHL season, the Ottawa Junior Senators have signed Toronto native Michael Eftimovski to a standard player contract. The 5’11 Eftimovski spent last season with the Toronto Junior Canadiens Midget AAA team and during the winter came to Ottawa and practiced with the Junior Sens and impressed Head Coach and General Manager Martin Dagenais.
“Michael skated with us last season and displayed many of the skills we are looking for in our defencemen. He gets around the ice very well and moves the puck smartly out of his zone. He didn’t look out of place practicing with our vets.”
Eftimovski is excited to join the two-time defending Bogart Cup Champions.
“I chose the Ottawa Jr. Senators because they’ve had a lot of success. The coaching staff have helped to develop players that can perform well under pressure and the organization supports continued growth for players who want to get to the next level of hockey.”
Taking pride in his defensive game is important to Eftimovski, but he feels that he can contribute offensively from the back end as well.
“I’m a stay at home defenceman, always protecting the front of the net. I battle in the corners and move the puck up with a good first pass, creating offensive chances. I like to join the rush when the opportunity presents itself. I always communicate with and support my partner and teammates.”
With the losses of key contributors like Noah Rowe, Taylor Egan and Joe Alexander, the Junior Senators scouting and management staff were forced to rebuild a significant portion of their defence corps in the off-season. The organization felt, after watching Eftimovski, during the recent Evaluation Camp, that he can step right in and play a large role beginning in September.
In the meantime the seventeen year-old rear guard is looking forward to taking the next step to an NCAA scholarship while helping keep the Junior Senators at the top of the CCHL standings.
“I want to earn an NCAA scholarship allowing me to pursue my dream of becoming a professional hockey player. Winning a championship with this team and growing as an individual are also key outcomes I hope to achieve throughout my journey as a Senator.”
The Junior Senators open camp August 21st.