One of the National Hockey League's top draft picks has just made a very surprising decision.
According to a report from ESPN reporter John Buccigross, 18 year old winger Brady Tkachuk has made a decision about his future in the National Hockey League and it was not the one that anybody had expected. Buccigross reports that Tkachuk has informed Albie O'Connell, the head coach of Boston University's hockey program, that he now intends to sign a pro contract with the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League.
The move comes as a huge shock due to the fact that all throughout the draft process Brady and his family, including father Keith Tkachuk, had made it clear that they intended to seriously consider the college route for Brady. Not only did this likely impact his draft value but it made teams very aware of the fact that they could be drafting a player who could very well never sign with their team. All too often we have now seen players who go the college route complete their programs and then opt to go the free agent route by refusing to sign a deal with their draft team, although admittedly this is rare for first round draft picks.
In spite of all these concerns the Ottawa Senators selected Tkachuk 4th overall in the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft and many felt that the fact that it was the Senators who had drafted him all but guaranteed a trip to college for Tkachuk. The Senators have been an extremely dysfunctional organization over the course of the past year and it seems hard to imagine that a young man at the start of his career would want to inject himself into that situation. That being said though it now appears that Tkachuk is prepared to take the plunge and join the Senators.
It may in fact be that Tkachuk views the collapse of the Senators lats season and the trimming of their roster due to dysfunction in the locker room as not a negative but a positive for his career. With the Senators shedding talent in the offseason and with players like Mark Stone signed to just one year deals Tkachuk may see a wide open window for his career as a forward as a forward on the Senators roster.
One thing is for sure though and that is the fact that this is terrific news for the Senators.