Brady Tkachuk named 10th captain in Ottawa Senators history

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators have named Brady Tkachuk the 10th captain in franchise history.

Tkachuk, 22, is in his fourth season with the team. He signed a seven-year, $57.5-million contract last month, on the opening day of the season.

“It’s definitely a privilege, it’s an honour, and I’m definitely excited for this opportunity,” Tkachuk told reporters on Friday. “But there’s plenty of guys in that locker room who are tremendous leaders as well.

“It’s not just going to be one person. It’s going be that group leadership we’ve had in the past, and it’s going to continue moving forward.”

The team has been without a captain since trading Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks in 2018.

“Brady personfies leadership,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in a news release announcing the move. “While on the ice, he craves winning and commands respect. Off of it, he routinely sets a good example for his teammates and carries himself with a combination of confidence and dignity.

“He’s deserving of this next step in his career. We’re proud to bestow the honour of being the team’s 10th captain upon him.”

Tkachuk also becomes the youngest captain in franchise history. Karlsson was 24 when he assumed the role. The St. Louis, Mo. native is also the first American to captain the Sens.

Head coach D.J. Smith said Tkachuk, whose father Keith was a captain in the NHL, has experience around the rink that will help him as a young captain.

“He’s been at the arena since he’s two years old. He’s lived the NHL and knows nothing but it,” Smiths said. “So I think that gives him a leg up when we’re talking about a young captain.”

The Senators drafted Tkachuk fourth overall in the 2018 draft. He led the team in scoring last season with 36 points in 56 games.

“Brady’s ingrained understanding of what it means to be a pro has made him the right choice for the team’s captaincy,” said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. “He holds a unique skill set and places team success above all else. Admired by teammates and coaches, and respected by opponents, he’s certain to serve as a great ambassador for both our team and for the city of Ottawa.”

The team also announced Thomas Chabot will be a full-time alternate captain and a rotating group of Connor Brown, Nick Paul and Nikita Zaitsev will serve as alternate captains.

Tkachuk’s first game as captain will be Saturday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Canadian Tire Centre.

The Senators are on a three-game losing streak, having allowed 15 total goals to the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild and Vegas Golden Knights..

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