Ottawa Senators Future Watch: Jorian Donovan and Zayne Parekh Help Saginaw Win Memorial Cup Opener

ottawa senators future watch: jorian donovan and zayne parekh help saginaw win memorial cup opener

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For Ottawa Senators fans who like to monitor prospects, the Saginaw Spirit are a team worth watching at this year's Memorial Cup.

Sens prospect Jorian Donovan, a 2022 fifth-rounder, patrols the blue line for the Spirit. He's the son of former Senator Shean Donovan, and just like his dad, he's an excellent skater, a chip off the ol' block.

Donovan's skating and shot were on full display on his goal for host Saginaw on Friday night in the opener of the 2024 Memorial Cup.

The goal staked the well-rested Spirit to a surprising 4-0 lead on the WHL Champion Moose Jaw Warriors, who came back to make a game of it. Saginaw hung on to win 5-4.

Donovan is making his second Memorial Cup appearance in three seasons. He also got to the tournament with the 2022 Hamilton Bulldogs, the OHL club owned by Senators' owner Michael Andlauer. It's never a bad thing when championships tend to follow a player around.

"Yeah, I mean, lots of guys don't get a chance in the Memorial Cup," Donovan told the OHL's YouTube channel. "And to say I've been here twice is pretty incredible. I'm super honoured to get this chance. But yeah, I just gotta capture every moment, like I say, it happens super fast and you gotta enjoy it."

Donovan suited up for Team Canada at this year's World Junior Hockey Championships, which is not usually where you'd find players drafted in the fifth round. The team initially released him, but Canada ran into injury troubles in camp and circled back on him.

Donovan's Saginaw teammate, defenceman Zayne Parekh, isn't a Senators prospect, but he is one of their draft prospects they're watching closely at this tournament. TSN's Bob McKenzie has him ranked 7th in next month's draft, and that's precisely where the Senators will pick. Parekh was in on all three of Saginaw's opening goals (a goal and two helpers) and was named the player of the game on Friday.

Parekh came as advertised. He's not an elite defender, but his skating, elusiveness, and skill with the puck are crazy good. Like many skilled, rambling Sens defencemen in the recent past, he would need to be paired with a defensively conscientious partner. Parekh being a right shot makes him extra attractive.

London Knights defenceman Sam Dickinson is also a player of interest to the Senators amateur scouting staff. He's ranked 6th on McKenzie's draft list. Dickinson and the Knights will play their first game of the tournament on Saturday afternoon against the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

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