Senators sign D Tyler Eckford to two-way deal

VANCOUVER CANADA - NOVEMBER 01: Tyler Eckford #21 and Colin White #5 of the New Jersey Devils talk things over during the second period in NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks on November 01 2010 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver British Columbia Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators shored up the Binghamton blue line today by signing free agent Tyler Eckford to a two-year, two-way deal today. Financial terms aren't yet public.

Eckford was a seventh-round pick (217 overall) of the New Jersey Devils in the 2004 NHL draft. After being drafted, he spent another year in the BCHL before heading to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for three seasons in the CCHA.

According to Hockey's Future, Eckford is a mobile defenceman with an offensive bent to his game. He put up extremely good numbers in the BCHL and CCHA, and seemed to be steadily improving before hitting a road block in the 2010-11 season, when he didn't play much due to unspecified personal reasons. Still, his AHL point totals are decent: 95P (22G, 73A) in 245GP will set him up nicely to contribute to the B-Sens' success this season. If things go well, he may even suit up in a game or two for Ottawa.

Back to the Binghamton blue line, it looks like it will be quite improved over last season (unless there's an unexpected retirement once again). It seems likely that Mark Borowiecki will graduate to the NHL roster, but that leaves veterans Patrick Wiercioch, Andre Benoit, and now Eckford in the fold, along with newcomers Fredrik Claesson, Chris Wideman, and Ben Blood. Binghamton veterans Eric Gryba (RFA) and Craig Schira (UFA) remain unsigned.

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