The Ottawa Senators selected Jim McKenzie in the fifth round, 141st overall in 2004. They have taken their time with the St. Paul, MN native and allowed him to develop for three years at the University of Michigan. Following his third year with the Wolverines, McKenzie signed an entry-level contract with the Senators and turned pro in 2007-08.
2000-01: Skated with USA’s U-17 development team. In 41 games, McKenzie tallied 15 points, including 11 goals.
2001-02: McKenzie started the season with USA’s U-18 development team, skating in 19 contests and registering 17 points, seven goals. Later in the year, he joined Green Bay in the USHL and played in a limited role picking up three points and 34 penalty minutes in 17 games.
2002-03: McKenzie spent the full season with Sioux Falls in the USHL. In 45 games, he picked up 24 points and 108 penalty minutes.
2003-04: In his second year in the USHL, McKenzie nearly tripled his rookie totals. He finished fifth in scoring with 64 points in 59 games despite Sioux Falls’ last place finish. He also won the USHL All-Star MVP award.
5th round (141st overall), 2004
2004-05: McKenzie was virtually non-existent early on as a freshman for Michigan State, but he certainly didn’t end that way. He tallied at least a point in 10 of Michigan State’s final 15 games, wrapping up his rookie campaign with 18 points (11 goals, 7 assists) in 34 games. Perhaps the main reason for McKenzie’s late-season success was his ability to make excellent use of his 6’2, 205 lbs. frame and his tremendous strength, particularly around the net. So effective was his play in the latter stages of the season that he was given a regular shift alongside seniors Jim Slater (ATL) and Mike Lalonde.
2005-06: In his sophomore year, McKenzie appeared in 43 games, scoring 28 points and racked up 85 penalty minutes. Four of his 11 goals came with the man-advantage and he had a healthy +4. He played a key role in Michigan’s playoff run, including assisting on David Booth’s game winning goal in the CCHA Championship game.
2006-07: His third year with Michigan was his most productive. In 32 games, McKenzie tallied 28 points and 28 penalty minutes. He lit the lamp for seven goals, four coming with the man-advantage. He played especially well in the playoffs where he accounted for six points in four games.
2008-09: McKenzie will never be a scorer, but only scoring one goal and four assists through 44 games, even compared to his two goals and an assist in 18 games last year, wasn’t impressive.
McKenzie boasts a heavy wrist shot and good passing. He protects the puck well, especially in high traffic areas. He is at his best along the boards and in the cycle game. McKenzie isn’t afraid to play a physical brand of hockey or drop the gloves if need be. He plays a two-way game and possesses a solid frame (6’2, 210) to go along with good hockey sense.
McKenzie needs to solidify himself in the AHL as a first step. Checking line forward.