Ottawa Senators Sign European Free Agent Forward

The Ottawa Senators have made a significant move by signing Czech forward Jiri Smejkal to a one-year entry-level contract.

Smejkal, who went undrafted, spent the last season playing in the Swedish Hockey League with Oskarshamn IK, where he scored 23 goals and 20 assists for a total of 43 points in 52 games.

The Senators' general manager, Pierre Dorion, expressed his satisfaction with the signing, citing Smejkal's size, strength, and previous experience playing in North America as assets that will help his transition to the NHL.

At 6-foot-4 and weighing 223 pounds, Smejkal's size and physicality are valuable assets for the Senators, who hope to improve their depth and add another option for their bottom-six forward lines.

Smejkal's experience playing in North America includes two seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Kamloops Blazers from 2014-2016.

Since then, he has been playing professionally in Europe and has represented his country, Czechia, in international tournaments, including the 2022 Winter Olympics and the 2022 IIHF World Championship, where he helped his team win a bronze medal with two goals and three assists.

Smejkal's signing is a promising move for the Senators, who will be eager to see how he adapts to the NHL.

His size, scoring ability, and experience playing in North America and at the international level make him a valuable asset for the team and could help bolster their chances for success in the upcoming season.