The Ottawa Senators are having a great day in terms of adding to their prospect pool. After Jacob Bernard-Docker signed earlier today, his University of North Dakota teammate Shane Pinto has also inked a three-year entry-level contract with the Senators. Following a quarantine period, Pinto will report directly to the Senators. Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion had this to say on his latest forward:
Shane should be very proud of what was an exceptional collegiate career. He’s a player with a very high work ethic who demonstrates a strong ability to play effectively in all three zones. He was an elite faceoff performer at UND who possesses a great shot, including a deceptive one timer, and a knack for scoring from both in tight and from a distance.
For Pinto, who turned 20 in November, it’s been quite a day. Not only has he signed his first professional contract but he was also named a Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist. His college career will come to an end after two outstanding seasons at UND, in which he scored 60 points in 61 games and excelled at the defensive end of the rink.
As for the Senators, this signing has been a year in the making. Ottawa attempted to woo Pinto away from the college game after his freshman campaign, in which the 32nd overall pick in 2019 showed a mature, pro-ready game. The two-way center has an NHL frame at 6’3″ and 200 lbs. and uses his body to check, win puck battles, and provide net front presence, leading to more than a few goals. A player who has dominated at the NCAA and WJC levels, there is little doubt that the Pinto’s two-way game is ready for the pro stage.
Pinto’s signing could cap off what has been an outstanding stretch for the Fighting Hawks program. Pinto and Bernard-Docker have signed with the Senators and teammate Matt Kiersted has joined the Florida Panthers earlier today, while UND leading scorer Jordan Kawaguchi signed on with the Dallas Stars yesterday. With that said, Ottawa is still believed to be talking to 2020 top pick Jake Sanderson, while seniors Collin Adams (NYI) and Grant Mismash (NSH) are expected to turn pro and underclassmen Jasper Weatherby (SJS) and Adam Scheel could be tempted to do so as well. North Dakota’s impressive exodus could still be far from over.