Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson says he’s co-operating with investigations into an alleged sexual assault involving unnamed players on Hockey Canada’s 2018 junior team, which he was a part of, but he would not comment on further questions about the topic.
“I’ve been co-operating with the ongoing investigations. Out of respect for the person involved, I’m not going to be making a comment on it now or in the future,” Batherson said Thursday at Senators training camp.
That was the first question at his media availability. He went on to say “no comment” to two follow-up questions, including why he hasn’t released a statement regarding any potential involvement in the alleged incident, which some other players on the team have done.
Hockey Canada quietly settled a lawsuit in May after a woman claimed she was assaulted by eight players, including members of the country’s 2018 gold-medal winning junior team, who attended a Hockey Canada gala in London, Ont.
The fallout has rocked Canada’s national governing hockey body. The players allegedly involved have not been named.
Alex Formenton, a restricted free agent whose rights are held by the Sens, was also on that 2018 world juniors team. He was not present at camp because his contract negotiations are ongoing.
Former Senator and 2018 world junior player Victor Mete said earlier this summer he was out of the country at the time of the gala.
“I’m the father of a kid, that I pay Hockey Canada fees to, and I think we all want to have answers, but at the same time I’m also the GM of an NHL team,” he said.
“We’ve been given the directive that until the NHL investigation is over not to comment.”