Brady Tkachuk to sign with the Ottawa Senators


Multiple sources including Brady Tkachuk's father Keith, have reported that the 2018 NHL Draft's fourth overall pick will forego his sophomore season at Boston University and sign with the Ottawa Senators.  Now, we will see what Ottawa chooses to do with the rugged right winger.

The plan may be to give Tkachuk that nine game trial before sending him off to the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights, who still hold his rights.  For the sake of development, this may be the best decision.  However, this IS Ottawa we are talking about.  If Ottawa is impressed with how Tkachuk looks, they may have to move Zach Smith to center to accommodate Tkachuk in the lineup; granted Smith isn't moved before training camp begins.
Other benefits of Tkachuk reporting to the London Knights, would be that he'd be eligible to represent the United States at the 2019 World Junior Championships and the Senators wouldn't have to waste the first year of his entry level contract.  If the Senators feel that Tkachuk could possibly join the lineup before the end of the season, another option would be to send him to the Belleville Senators of the American Hockey League.  Of course, this would take away his eligibility for the 2019 WJC.
Another idea to ponder is how the inner turmoil of this franchise may hinder Tkachuk's development if he were to stay with the club.  With all of the distractions that will continue to come with the Erik Karlsson/Mike Hoffman fiasco, the futures of Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and (again) Erik Karlsson in Ottawa, and whether or not the franchise will be moved or sold are things that a rookie don't envision dealing with.
Wherever Tkachuk will play this season will have the honor and privilege of watching a potential star in the making.  For the sake of his development alone, let's hope it's where he can get the maximum amount of time in a highly competitive environment.

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