McKenzie, 23, was Ottawa’s first fifth-round draft pick (141st overall) in the 2004 entry draft. The St. Paul, Minn., native spent last season with the Michigan State Spartans of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. McKenzie set career highs in goals (12), assists (18) and points (30), while adding 56 penalty minutes.
He'll forego his senior season in East Lansing.
"This is what I've worked for my entire life - why I've had all the (shoulder) surgeries - to get this opportunity,'' McKenzie told the Lansing State Journal. "No question, the financial situation was part of it. But this decision will help me try to reach my final goal, which is the NHL.''