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Ottawa Jr. Senators Young Defenceman Has Bright Future

By Sam Laskaris on March 28, 2017

Ottawa Jr. Senators defenceman Merrick Rippon was chosen as the Central Canada Hockey League's Rookie of the Year and is now hoping to help his squad win a league championship. (Robert Lefebvre/IceLevel)

Though he is still one of the youngest members of the Ottawa Jr. Senators, defenceman Merrick Rippon is receiving plenty of rave reviews.

In fact, the 16-year-old had such an amazing season that he was selected as the Rookie of the Year in the Central Canada Hockey League.

Rippon, Ottawa’s top-scoring blueliner, earned 33 points, including eight goals, in 59 regular season contests.

“I’m happy I was able to win such an outstanding award,” Rippon said of his CCHL rookie accolade.

The fact Rippon was able to step into the Jr. Senators’ lineup and play like a seasoned vet this season was not much of a surprise.

That’s because he had shown signs of future greatness in the league a year ago as well.

Though he was a member of the Jr. Senators’ Midget AAA squad during the 2015-16 campaign, Rippon did get called up as an affiliate player and suited up for seven regular season matches at the Junior A level with the Ottawa club.

And when his Midget season was complete, he joined the Jr. Senators for their playoff run, appearing in a dozen contests.

The then-15-year-old Rippon and his teammates just missed out on winning a CCHL title. The Carleton Place Canadians captured their third consecutive league title, downing Ottawa in the championship final, which went the maximum seven games.

Rippon believes the fact he was able to get some CCHL experience a year ago was rather beneficial for him as he entered his true freshman season.

“It was huge for me,” he said. “I was able to see what the playoffs are like and what I could expect in the league this year.”

For the most part, Rippon received a regular shift during Ottawa’s 2016 playoff run. And because of his offensive flair, he also saw some action on the team’s power play.

Rippon ended up collecting a pair of points, including his first CCHL goal, in his 12 games with the Jr. Senators last spring.

The Ottawa franchise is now once again in what it hopes will be a lengthy and successful postseason.

The Jr. Senators, seeded third in this year’s playoffs, defeated the sixth-ranked Brockville Braves 4-1 in their best-of-seven quarterfinal series, which concluded this past Thursday.

Rippon was credited with three assists in that five-game opening series.

The Jr. Senators will now meet the second-ranked Cornwall Colts in their best-of-seven semifinal affair. This series begins Thursday in Cornwall.

Top-seeded Carleton Place will square off against the fifth-seeded Kemptville 73’s in the other semi series.

Rippon, who’s listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, is expected to also return to the Jr. Senators’ lineup next season.

He’s currently a Grade 11 student at Peak Centre Academy, an Ottawa-based athletic-oriented private school. After the current year, he still has one year remaining in his high school studies.

And then Rippon, who is already being touted as a possible pick in the 2018 National Hockey League’s Entry Draft, will commence his NCAA career.

This past November, he committed to attend Rhode Island’s Providence College, an NCAA Division 1 school.

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By Sam Laskaris| March 28, 2017
Categories:  Junior
Keywords:  Ottawa Jr. Senators

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