The Senators selected Brady Tkachuk fourth overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, hoping he could help right the ship for a franchise that’s been taking on water.
They’ll soon learn if he’ll jump aboard for the upcoming season, or forego turning pro another year.
Tkachuk, who has yet to announce where he’ll play his hockey for the 2018-19 NHL season, told NHL.com on Monday that Aug. 12 is his self-imposed deadline to make that announcement.
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“The decision will be based on what’s best for my development short- and long-term; I want to have a long career and don’t want to go somewhere and not have an impact,” Tkachuk said to Mike Morreale. “I want to make an impact wherever I go and be able to contribute and play my best. Having both options is a great problem to have; they are two great spots.”
The 18-year-old, who will turn 19 in September, was one of the youngest players in college hockey last season. In July, Matthew Tkachuk told Sporting News that both he and father Keith were there to offer advice for Brady, but not were not attempting to sway his decision, or make it for him.
“Ultimately it’s just his decision,” Matthew said. “Everyone is kind of looking at me and my dad and hoping that we influence him a little bit, but it’s ultimately up to him.”
Multiple reports prior to that said Tkachuk would inform all parties involved of where he will play by mid-August. According to Jeff Cox of the New England Hockey Journal, it’s more likely that Tkachuk is heading back to Boston University for his sophomore season. Tkachuk’s Ontario Hockey League rights belong to the London Knights, and there have also been rumors he cold bolt from the NCAA and head to juniors.
“Each party deserves to have the time to adjust to whatever decision is made and my goal has never been to make this a last-second decision,” Tkachuk told NHL.com. “It’s tough for me to be on the phone with my parents because we’re not in the same city, but I want to talk to them face-to-face because their opinion, and the opinion of my brother and sister, are important so they’ll tell me what they think but it’ll be my decision in the end.”
If Tkachuk elects to return to the amateur ranks, he could once again represent the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championship, and could then sign an entry-level contract at the conclusion of his season, possibly joining Ottawa late in the regular season, or even reporting to AHL-Belleville.
Quinn Hughes, the No. 7 pick of the same draft class, recently announced he will return to Michigan for his sophomore season instead of joining the Vancouver Canucks. Like Tkachuk, Hughes accelerated a year and was one of the youngest players in college hockey for the 2017-18 season.