The Ottawa Senators have sent Mika Zibanejad, their top pick from the 2011 NHL draft, to their AHL affiliate as they reduced their roster.

Zibanejad, the sixth overall pick with the Senators, scored seven goals and assisted on another 13 in 42 regular-season games last year, and added another goal and three assists in the playoffs.

But he'll begin this year with the Binghamton Senators along with 28 other players who took part in training camp. This year's top pick, forward Curtis Lazar, will return to his major junior club, the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray said wanted to see more intensity from the young forward.

"What he has to do is get involved more often around the net, more often in the forechecking to retrieve the puck.

“It's great when you have the puck but you've got to go get the puck sometimes and that means you have to be physically involved and mentally involved in the game to do it," said Murray.

Ceci, Stone also sent down

Other notable players who were sent to Binghamton include defenceman Cody Ceci and winger Mark Stone.

The Senators roster is now made up of 22 players, including two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards.

Ottawa begins the season Friday in Buffalo against the Sabres, the first of six opponents they will face on the road.

The team won't play its first home game until Oct. 17, when they host the New Jersey Devils at Canadian Tire Centre.