by Brian Rappleyea
Over the last few seasons, the Ottawa Junior Senators have proven their CCHL success on the ice by taking home the Bogart Cup in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, and again in 2021-22. That on ice success has been abetted by excellent work in the front office, coaching staff, and with scouting and drafting, as seen with 2005 birth year and first year Junior Senator, Tomislav Brennan.
Drafted by the Junior Sens in 2020, Brennan, a native of Ottawa born to Vaughn Brennan and Suzana Renic, and with an older sister Matea, isn’t quite sure how he began playing hockey; nobody in his family actually played, but Brennan is sure of when he began playing, which was at around the age of three.
Now in the present day, the Junior Senators and first year OJS head coach Kyle Makaric, are delighted with their lefty forward, who contributed four goals and 14 assists for 18 points, while appearing in 45 regular season games and two assists in nine playoff matches.
“Tomislav came to us as a first-year player with incredible talent. He impressed in camp and showed all of the tools he has developed in his last few years of minor hockey. As he started to get his feet wet in junior hockey and find out what kind of game was required every night, he started to settle in and carved out his niche on the team. He is a great teammate and pushes himself hard every day to get better. Tomislav is very coachable and often will come and ask for extra work or extra video sessions to learn as much as he can. He played a role for us in our run to the Bogart Cup and he is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential as a hockey player.”
Brennan made the team after a stellar training camp. He came out of the OJS U18 program where he put up three goals and an assist in five official games last season. He previously played for the Ottawa Junior 67’s, where he scored 18 goals in the 2019-20 season. Last year, Brennan was drafted in the ninth round of the OHL draft by the Owen Sound Attack.
At 5’11 and 165 pounds, Brennan appeared in two of the four games in the Bogart Cup Final, notching an assist in game three, when he and Wil Murphy would help Braxton Ross score a goal fairly early in the third period (2:32). That goal would put the Junior Senators ahead 3-2, a lead which the team would extend to 4-2, and help propel them to a 4-3 victory in that game three. Brennan would also make an appearance in game four, when the Junior Senators would complete the sweep of the Hawkesbury Hawks and raise that Bogart Cup.
Winning the Bogart Cup means that the next step for the Junior Senators and Brennan is the Centennial Cup, which is being held in Estevan, Saskatchewan. The Junior Senators’ preliminary opponents will be the Dauphin Kings, Flin Flon Bombers, Soo Thunderbirds, and Summerside Western Capitals.
“The veteran players have been really supportive of me, telling me I’m on the team for a reason,” said Brennan. Those reasons were on display during the CCHL triumph, and OJS believes they have a player on their hands to display those reasons for the remainder of this season, and seasons to come.