The month of March is one where teams often look to lure players out of college with the hopes of adding them to their lineup down the stretch. While the Senators can’t do that with the currently-injured Josh Norris, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (video link) that Ottawa is still likely to try to convince him to forego his final two years of college eligibility and sign in the coming weeks.
The Sens acquired Norris from San Jose as one of the key parts of the Erik Karlsson trade back in September. He was off to a strong start with Michigan and fared well at the World Juniors with Team USA but suffered an injury in the tournament that ultimately ended his sophomore year prematurely. All in all, he had 19 points (10-9-19) in just 17 games with the Wolverines this season.
Given the lost development time, there’s a case to be made that Ottawa may be better off leaving the 19th pick of the 2017 draft in school for another year but it appears they’d like to get him into their system sooner. He won’t be able to accrue a season for expansion draft purposes so regardless of whether or not they sign him in the next few weeks or sometime over the summer, he will be exempt from requiring protection from Seattle.
Between Logan Brown, Colin White, and Norris, the Senators have fairly quickly built up a solid group of prospects down the middle. If Ottawa has their way, they may all be suiting up with the big club as soon as next season.