Peter Regin surprised a few people when he made the Ottawa Senators roster to start the season. It shouldn’t really have been surprising, given his AHL season last year, but I suppose it’s always a bit of a shock to see a young player force their way on to the roster.

Regin was taken in the third round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft after winning the rookie of the year award in Denmark’s top league, but he stood out in particular at the U18 World Championships, where he managed five goals and four assists. He broke out the following year in Denmark, and then jumped to the Swedish Elite League for 2005-06.

Like most young players, Regin had difficulty getting ice-time in the SEL, but after two seasons where he was rarely used he took a leap forward in 2007-08, scoring 31 points in 55 games and recording nine more in 11 playoff contests. In the summer of 2008, the decision was made to bring Regin over from Europe, and he sounded excited (g/t Sens Chirp) to be playing in North America:

“I want to stay over here. I don’t want to go back if I don’t make it to the NHL, but we’ll see what happens. You never know. I know it’s going to be tough to make the (Senators roster) this year and I’ll probably start the season in the AHL, but my goal in the future is to play in the NHL. That’s why I came here.”

Regin did earn an NHL call-up later in the season, but the majority of 2008-09 was spent in Binghamton. Regin has the reputation as a two-way centre, and his team-leading +15 on the farm would seem to confirm that. Regin was sent out against middle of the road opposition according to Desjardins’ AHL Quality of Competition measurements, and a lot of his scoring came on the powerplay but even given those points he enjoyed an excellent debut in North America.

With three points in four games and a plus-three rating (best among Senators forwards) so far this season, Regin seems to have carried over his strong play to the NHL. Given his SEL and AHL track record, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to keep playing well. Ottawa may have a live one here.

Regin’s currently out with what’s being described as an upper body injury, but head coach Cory Clouston expects that he’ll be back in the lineup by Saturday.