The Ottawa Senators recalled forward Matthew Highmore and goaltender Mads Søgaard from AHL Belleville on Friday morning, per a team release. Highmore was brought up on a traditional recall, while Søgaard’s recall is under emergency conditions.
That’s because Senators starter Joonas Korpisalo is not ready to return from an undisclosed injury and will miss today’s game against the Islanders. Søgaard, who was already ferried up and down last week due to the team’s trip to Stockholm for the NHL Global Series, will likely serve as the backup to Anton Forsberg in today’s contest.
Søgaard, the 22-year-old Dane, was selected 37th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft and is still viewed as the Senators’ netminder of the future. He carries an absolutely massive frame at 6-foot-8 and nearly 200 pounds that’s translated into some strong numbers.
Now in his fourth pro season, Søgaard is off to his best start yet. In eight games with Belleville, he’s recorded a strong 2.35 GAA, .923 SV%, one shutout, and a 4-3-0 record.
Søgaard got an extended NHL look last season, starting 17 games in the wake of injuries to both Forsberg and former Senator Cam Talbot. Across 19 NHL starts and 21 total appearances over the last two seasons, he’s posted a 9-7-3 record, .889 SV%, and 3.30 GAA. There’s certainly room for technical improvement in his game – he won’t reach his ceiling in the NHL just based on his size.
Meanwhile, Highmore returns to the Senators’ roster on his second recall of the month. He skated in three games earlier this month, recording one assist and averaging only 7:59 per game.
Highmore could draw into the lineup in today’s game, but it’s not a guarantee. With him on the roster, Ottawa has 13 healthy forwards. Ridly Greig and Mark Kastelic remain out of the lineup and on injured reserve.
The 27-year-old is in his first season with the Senators organization after inking a one-year, two-way deal in free agency last summer. He’s notched seven points and a -9 rating through nine games with Belleville this season. A veteran of over 140 NHL games, he’s a rather experienced option to come up from the minors and slide into the Senators’ bottom six.