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Ottawa Senators Sign Josh Norris to Entry-Level Contract

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The young centre is turning pro.

United States v Slovakia - 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images

The Ottawa Senators have inked one of their top prospects to an entry-level contract in centre Josh Norris. At 20 years old, Norris will be turning pro following a stellar sophomore year at the University of Michigan.

Originally picked 19th overall by the San Jose Sharks in 2017, Norris was one of the key players coming back to Ottawa after they traded Erik Karlsson last off-season. He played his junior hockey through the U.S. National Development Team before taking the collegiate route, where he played with fellow Sens prospects Johnny Gruden and Brady Tkachuk, the latter of which is his best friend.

His list of accomplishments grew at international events, winning U18 gold in 2017, and earning bronze and silver medals at the two most recent U20 World Junior Championships. He shone as a leader for Team USA in 2019, posting three goals and three assists in seven games. He also broke out offensively in Michigan this year, with ten goals and nine assists in seventeen games, en route to a Hobey Baker nomination.

Norris’ season came to an abrupt end after he sustained a season-ending injury at the World Juniors. Questions arose whether he would go back for another season at Michigan due to its severity, although after undergoing successful surgery, he’ll be spending his summer rehabilitating and training with the Sens.

For the Belleville Senators, Norris will be an excellent addition to the forward grouo, as they’re expected to lose some of this year’s top players to the big club next season. This, of course, is assuming Norris doesn’t make the main roster out of camp, which is always an outside possibility.

Norris’ playing style is very two-way. He can be deployed in almost any situation, and as much as Dorion may rave about his intangibles, that shouldn’t distract that he’s a skilled player who was finally able to break out offensively. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery in preparation for next month’s development camp.

Welcome to Ottawa, Josh Norris!