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NHL Draft

Tkachuk brings right skill, character to Senators at No. 4 in Draft

Boston University forward selected as way to help 'broken' dressing room

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / NHL.com Staff Writer

DALLAS -- Brady Tkachuk wants to be part of the solution to the Ottawa Senators' "broken" dressing room.

One day after using that word to describe the Senators' internal issues this season, general manager Pierre Dorion hopes the process of rebuilding the roster on and off the ice took a significant step with the selection of Tkachuk with the No. 4 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft on Friday.

 

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"We draft for skill, we draft for character, we drafted someone who we feel brings the total package," Dorion said. "Guys like that, you can never get them on the trade market. Those guys are impossible to get, winners with character that can produce offensively.

"Look, we suffered this year. We suffered greatly. But the reward for our suffering this year was Brady Tkachuk. And that's a pretty good reward."

Tkachuk is aware of the controversy that has been swirling around the Senators. Instead of shying away from the situation, he's embracing the opportunity to help bring change.

"I still think it's one of the best organizations in the NHL," Tkachuk said. "For me, I'm just going to be myself. I pride myself on being a good teammate. I'm going to carry that and just try to be the best teammate I can be.

"That's who I am, a nice guy. I just try to look out for everybody. I pride myself on that."

Video: Senators draft F Brady Tkachuk No. 4

Those words came as music to the ears of Dorion, who has been forced to put out his share of fires the past two months, including the situation between Mike Hoffman and captain Erik Karlsson.

The Senators traded Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, a week after a report by the Ottawa Citizen claimed Melinda Karlsson, Erik's wife, had filed an application for a peace bond against Hoffman's fiancée, Monika Caryk, alleging harassment and cyberbullying that occurred this season and continued after the Karlssons' son, Axel, was stillborn. Hoffman, who was traded by the Sharks to the Florida Panthers, has denied the allegations.

"We are moving forward, starting with the drafting of Brady Tkachuk," Dorion said. "We have a plan in place and our fans should be encouraged in the direction we are going, starting with the drafting of Brady."

If the smile on Dorion's face was an indicator of how well the evening went, Tkachuk's grin was even bigger. That's because he now has bragging rights in the family household for being the highest-selected Tkachuk.

Brady is the son of Keith Tkachuk, who had 1,065 points (538 goals, 527 assists) in 1,201 NHL games, and the brother of Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. Keith was taken No. 19 by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1990 NHL Draft and Matthew went No. 6 in the 2016 NHL Draft.

As the three Tkachuks posed for a family photo after the selection, Brady held four fingers in front of Matthew's face as a reminder of where he'd just been picked.

"The weight is off my shoulders and [Matthew] will definitely hear about it (for a while)," Brady said. "He was just proud, and I'm so happy right now.

"It feels good. I know I'm going to give it a bit to Matthew and my dad."

Video: Jackie chats with Brady Tkachuk

Brady, a left wing, had 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 40 games for Boston University last season and has yet to decide if he'll return to school or try to make the Senators next season.

"We'll discuss it," Keith Tkachuk said. "That's down the road. Right now, I'm just so proud of him. I'm proud of both my boys."

The selection wasn't the end of the Senators' activity in the first round. Ottawa traded the No. 22 pick to the New York Rangers for the No. 26 pick, which they used to select defensemen Jacob Bernard-Docker, and the No. 48 pick.

Bernard-Docker had 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists) for the Okotoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League this season and plans to play for the University of North Dakota next season.

"This was a very good day for us," Dorion said. "We're very pleased."

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