First-rounder O’Brien assigned to Binghamton

bng_200.jpgThe Ottawa Senators have reassigned center Jim O’Brien to the Binghamton Senators from the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds.

O’Brien, who is expected to join the B-Sens on Tuesday, was Ottawa’s first-round pick (29th overall) in the 2007 NHL entry draft.

The 20-year-old recently completed his second season with the Thunderbirds, scoring 62 points (27 goals and 35 assists) and adding 55 penalty minutes in 63 games. O’Brien also represented the United States at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship held in Ottawa, scoring one goal and adding three assists while recording a +4 rating.

In his first season with Seattle in 2007-08, O’Brien recorded 55 points (21 goals, 34 assists) and 66 penalty minutes in 70 regular-season games while adding eight points (2-6) in 12 playoff games.

In his freshman year with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in 2006-07, he was the youngest player in all of Division I college hockey. After scoring seven goals and adding eight assists in 43 games with the Golden Gophers, O’Brien then added seven points (three goals and four assists) in seven games as the United States captured the silver medal at the 2007 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in April.

Prior to joining the Golden Gophers, O’Brien spent two seasons with the U.S. national team development program in Ann Arbor, Mich. In 2005-06, he collected 17 goals, 24 assists and 76 penalty minutes in 51 games with the under-18 squad. O’Brien had three goals and one assist in six games as Team USA beat Finland 3-1 for the gold medal at the 2006 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. In 2004-05, O’Brien suited up with the national under-17 team, posting 34 points (16-18) and 51 penalty minutes in 54 games.

The Senators signed O’Brien to an entry-level contract on Aug. 13, 2007.