Aspirot Enjoying Life as a Professional
There's no other way around it. Jonathan Aspirot has made an impression on the Belleville Senators.
The rookie defenceman, who can also hybrid as a forward, has been turning heads in the Sens organization for a couple of years as an invite in 2018 and 2019 to Ottawa's Rookie Tournament team.
He locked himself in with the franchise on Sept. 19 by signing a two-year deal with Belleville. And in the process, forwent his final year of junior eligibility with Moncton of the QMJHL, a team he captained last season.
"I love the experience I'm having here," Aspirot said. "I'm enjoying every second I'm here and really it's the best time of my life."
The 20-year-old, who's played six times for Belleville this season, has already bagged his first professional goal, a feat he accomplished against Providence on Oct. 19.
"It was unreal," Aspirot said of scoring. "It was a big thing for me. It made me feel like I'm part of here.
"I took the puck back home, put it on the shelf and that's where it's been since."
Not expected to necessarily play a ton for Belleville this season - the first year of his contract is a two-way AHL deal - he's been pressed into immediate action with the Sens and head coach Troy Mann continues to be impressed by his young d-man.
"It goes back to development camp," Mann said. "He looked to have something that intrigued you as a coach. One of the greatest things about him is his work ethic and his compete level. He's got a really good motor and the way the game's played nowadays you need to be able to skate and that's certainly one of his strengths.
"I love the fact he's trying to get better on a day-to-day basis."
A native of Mascouche, QC., Aspirot isn't too much younger than some of his fellow defenceman. Max Lajoie, Andreas Englund and Christian Jaros are only a few years older than him but Aspirot is leaning on those guys, and some of the more seasoned vets on the team, due to the vast professional experience they have already garnered.
"They teach me a lot," Aspirot said. "They talk to me a lot on the ice and off too. They have helped me make my game better and make me a better hockey player too."
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