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Belleville Senators issue preseason roster update

October 10, 2023

The Belleville Senators are issuing a roster update following several transactions between the club’s NHL affiliate in Ottawa and ECHL affiliate, in Allen.

The Ottawa Senators announced last week that forwards Bokondji Imama and Jiri Smejkal, as well as defencemen Maxence Guenette and Lassi Thomson, have been assigned to the American Hockey League club.

Entering his seventh professional season, Imama was assigned to Belleville following Ottawa’s training camp, and cleared waivers last week. He comes to Belleville following two seasons in the Coyotes organization, skating in 55 games with Arizona’s AHL affiliate in Tucson and registering 15 points (five goals, 10 assists). Imama also played in five NHL games last season. The 27-year-old from Montreal, Quebec, spent the prior four seasons with the Los Angeles Kings AHL affiliate in Ontario, California.

Smejkal, 26, is playing his first professional season in North America, signing a two-way NHL deal with the Senators last spring, following a seven year pro career in Europe. Most recently, Smejkal had 43 points (23 goals, 30 assists) in 49 games with IK Oskarshamn in Sweden. He’s also represented Czechia at various international events, including the Olympic games and has won a bronze medal at the IIHF World Hockey Championship, along with a silver at the IIHF U18 Championship.

Guenette returns to Belleville for his third pro season, after setting career highs in games played (72) and assists (35), in 2022-23. The 22-year-old from Sainte-Foy, Quebec, is among the Belleville Sens single-season record holders in games played (72) and assists (35). He’s also among the leaders in the club’s all-time defensive records for games played (120), assists (48), and points (59). He had a plus-three rating over three games during Ottawa’s recent NHL preseason.

Thomson was re-claimed off waivers by the Senators and assigned to Belleville, after being claimed by Anaheim last week and waived again this week. The 23-year-old will suit up for his third full season with Belleville and fourth overall, and had 33 points (seven goals, 26 assists) over 56 AHL games last season. He also skated in two NHL games with Ottawa. That native of Tampere, Finland is among Belleville’s all-time defensive record holders in games played (135), goals (18), assists (54), and points (72).

Additionally, forwards Mikael Robidoux and Grant Hebert, along with defencemen Eric Williams and Ryan Gagnon, were released from their professional try outs and returned to Allen. Goaltenders Mark Sinclair and Leevi Merilainen were assigned by the Senators to the ECHL Americans as well, while 20-year-old defenceman Djibril Toure was assigned by Ottawa, back to Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League.

Following the moves, Belleville’s roster sits at 27 players including three goaltenders, nine defencemen and 15 forwards and you can view the full roster by clicking here.

The Senators open the 2023-24 American Hockey League season on October 14th against the Bears, in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The 2023 Home Opener presented by CAA is on October 21, 2023, when the Sens host the Laval Rocket.

Tickets for all Belleville Sens home games through January 20, 2024, are now on sale online via the Belleville Sens Ticket Hub, or by emailing

Tickets for the second half of the season will be available for purchase beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday November 20, 2023, with information on hours for the Belleville Sens Box Office at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre, to be released later. Fans looking to buy second half tickets can secure those seats now, by purchasing season seat membershipsflex packsgroup experiences or Business Elite memberships.

The full 2023-24 Belleville Senators regular season schedule can be found by clicking here

About the Belleville Senators

The Belleville Senators are the American Hockey League affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues’ Ottawa Senators and have been operating in the AHL since the 2017-18 season. The Senators play their home games out of the CAA Arena at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre and have graduated more than 60 players to the NHL since moving from Binghamton, New York.

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