It’s official: Brady Tkachuk is leaving college.
Tkachuk opted to forego his sophomore season at Boston University and sign his entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators on Monday. The Senators’ 2018 first round pick made the decision a day before his self-mandated Aug. 12 deadline, according to ESPN’s John Buccigross.
Brady Tkachuk, son of Keith, has informed Boston University Head Coach Albie O’Connell of his intentions to sign a pro contract. pic.twitter.com/3VziMjCin8
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) August 11, 2018
“Brady Tkachuk exemplifies all the attributes around which we want to improve the Ottawa Senators,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a statement. “He is a young man of exceptional character. We know how much he agonized over leaving Boston University, and we are encouraged by the degree of accountability and commitment this shows from him.
“Through tenacity, combativeness and work ethic, he also exemplifies leadership skills that we know will benefit the team now and well into the future. Most of all, Brady has shown us through his maturity that he is coachable, committed to teamwork, and determined to help us strengthen our team chemistry. For all these reasons, he is an exciting young player whose growth and development we are eager to support.”
The 18-year-old weighed the decision in the weeks since the 2018 NHL Draft and the World Junior Summer Showcase, where he suited up for the United States.
“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 told NHL.com’s Mike Morreale in July. “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.”
Tkachuk has several options for his professional career. He is able to join the Senators in the NHL, of course, but Tkachuk would burn the first year of his ELC if he plays in more than nine NHL games.
News Release: #Sens sign fourth overall selection Brady Tkachuk to entry-level contract: https://t.co/TKCHT1cWy8
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) August 13, 2018
The Belleville Senators and the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights remain viable options as well, with the latter being the most likely destination for the forward. London has held Tkachuk’s rights since April 2015, when the team drafted him in the fourth round in the OHL Priority Selection.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) August 4, 2018
While it’s still early to decipher where Tkachuck will play in the fall, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek says there is “strong belief” that Tkachuk will head to London to join the Knights.
Vancouver Canucks prospect Quinn Hughes chose to return to the University of Michigan to further his development, and London could serve the same purpose for the aggressive winger. London recently hired former Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Mark Hunter to serve as the team’s GM. The Knights are already equipped with Blackhawks’ top prospect Adam Boqvist (8th overall in 2018).
Tkachuk tallied 31 points (8 G, 23 A) in 40 games for the Boston Terriers last season. He finished second among United States skaters with eight points at the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship, where the Americans earned the bronze medal.