Ottawa Senators claim Jayce Hawryluk off waivers

The Ottawa Senators have today announced the acquisition of Jayce Hawryluk off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

Jayce Hawryluk has become the latest member of the Ottawa Senators organisation after he was claimed off the waiver wire, with the Florida Panthers originally intending for him to return to their AHL affiliates, the Springfield Thunderbirds.

The 24-year-old from Yorkton, Saskatchewan was originally selected by the Panthers with the second pick of the second round (32nd overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Hawryluk, who is capable of playing both as a centre or as a right-winger, played his junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League, scoring 119 goals and earning 278 total points in 232 regular-season games.

During the 2015/16 season, his last in juniors, Hawryluk helped guide the Wheat Kings to the WHL championship while recording the most assists during the WHL playoffs with 23.

Since turning pro, Hawryluk has spent the majority of his time in the AHL with 95 points (27 goals, 68 assists) in 148 regular-season games.

The 2018/19 season saw the former Hlinka Memorial gold medalist feature in 42 NHL games with the Panthers, predominantly playing a bottom line role with an average ice time of 9:30, earning a respectable seven goals and 12 total points during that run.

Hawryluk earned his time with the NHL club after registering a point-per-game (31GP: 8G, 24A) with the Thunderbirds.

This season saw the former Panthers prospect post positive possession numbers, with a 52.6% Corsi rating despite being deployed primarily in the defensive zone, with 55.7% of his starts coming in his own end.

Reaction from Panthers fans on social media suggests he was a popular young player in the Sunshine State, with his feisty, physical style of play (133 total career NHL hits to date) endearing him to fans.

The Ottawa Senators are expected to make some moves by next week’s trade deadline, including possible trades involving players such as Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

Acquiring Hawryluk could be the first move that sets the Senators up for more before February 24th, with fans eager to see what will unfold as the team’s promising rebuild progresses.

Next: Top 5 Sens trades of the past decade

What do you think Sens fans? Are you intrigued by the team’s acquisition of Hawryluk? What do you think the team should do at the deadline? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!