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Tkachuk to announce if he will sign with Senators by Aug. 12

Forward, No. 4 pick in 2018 NHL Draft, could opt to return to Boston University for sophomore season

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia -- Brady Tkachuk will announce whether he will return to Boston University for his sophomore season or sign with the Ottawa Senators by August 12.

The left wing, who was chosen by Ottawa with the No. 4 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, said he will concentrate on his performance at the World Junior Summer Showcase here that runs through Saturday before joining his family in St. Louis to confirm his decision.

"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. "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."

Video: Will Brady Tkachuk return to Boston University?

Tkachuk (6-foot-3, 191 pounds) is the son of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame forward Keith Tkachuk and brother of Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk.

"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 said. "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."

Tkachuk, 18, finished fourth in scoring for Boston University with 31 points, was second with a plus-15 rating, and was first with 23 assists and 131 shots on goal as a freshman last season.

"It's one of the biggest decisions of my life," he said. "It's tough and stressful but when it happens it'll be nice to have it off the shoulders. I just want to be 100 percent committed to wherever I decide."

Tkachuk is representing the United States at the showcase at Sandman Centre. The four-team development camp, which includes practices and games against Sweden, Finland and Canada, is the first step in picking the rosters for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship to be held in Vancouver and Victoria, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2019.

 

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Tkachuk had three goals and six assists in seven games at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship to help the U.S. win a bronze medal. 

Boston University coach Albie O'Connell said they will respect any decision Tkachuk makes, but that having one more season of college development could be beneficial.

"He knows our feelings and we gave him a lot of room to kind of think about it and make the best choice for him," O'Connell said. "We're supportive either way, but we obviously would love to have him come back for another season. I think it would be a great chance for him to continue to develop and be a big part of next year's team.

"The biggest improvement Brady made last season was his skating, and part of that was strength, and part of it was the fact he's still growing; I think he grew an inch at BU last year. He's a really talented player, but is still a little bit of a work in progress. He's not completely fully physically developed so there's a lot of gains that he can make."

Boston University begins training camp after Labor Day. Ottawa will open training camp Sept. 13.

O'Connell served as an assistant coach under David Quinn last season and took over as coach on June 5, two weeks after Quinn was hired as coach of the New York Rangers on May 23. 

"I think [O'Connell] is a great coach," Tkachuk said. "He's so personable with the players and knows his stuff. When he was announced as coach, everyone was super pumped, and we'll have a great team next year, too."

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