Pierre Dorion has decided after today’s game to send Alex Formenton back to the OHL to play junior hockey. Having only turned 19 this past September, Formenton played nine games with the Sens this season, scoring his first NHL goal. Instead of hitting the ten-game threshold and burning a year off his entry-level contract, it will instead slide back a year, on pace to expire in 2022.
#Sens GM Pierre Dorion tells TSN 1200 that Alex Formenton is headed back to junior. Was told post game.— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) November 2, 2018
Formenton will report to the OHL’s London Knights, where he scored 29 goals and 48 points in 48 games last season. The Knights are currently in the middle of their division with a record of 7-4-2, and a goal differential of +9. They possess two of the OHL’s top elite defencemen in Adam Boqvist and Evan Bouchard, as well as top-scoring forwards (and potential linemates) Cole Tymkin, Nathan Dunkley, Liam Foudy and Connor McMichael. The Knights have long been an esteemed organization for player development, with recent graduates including Mitch Marner, Matthew Tkachuk, Max Domi and Chris Tierney.
The demotion will also ensure that Formenton receives an opportunity to play for Team Canada at the World Juniors Championships, after winning a gold medal with them last season. He was one of the top performers at the World Junior Showcase earlier this year, which basically guarantees him a spot on the roster, hopefully with a larger role.
Although he didn’t score much in his time with Ottawa, he received high praise from the coaches, with Guy Boucher saying he has “McDavid-like speed”. He also missed three games with a concussion, which seems concerning, although the fact that he was playing again so quickly likely means that it was a minor issue.
As fun as it was to watch Formenton blaze up and down the ice, Sens management believes the best decision for him this moment will be to hone his craft back in juniors. The fact that he was able to stay in the NHL for so long, and blow us away with his speed in the process, definitely bodes well for his NHL future.
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