The Ottawa Senators' alternates for the 2020-21 season are confirmed.
It was announced Saturday that Thomas Chabot, Erik Gudbranson and Brady Tkachuk will wear an 'A' during the upcoming season.
"You have two young guys that are going to be leaders in this league for a long time," Sens head coach D.J. Smith said of Chabot and Tkachuk. "Last year, they had 'A's' for a little bit of the time and I think it's time to transition and start to help them be the leaders of this team going forward.
"I think a guy like Gudbranson, who's been around the league, can help them. It's important to transition them into what we think is going to be the leadership with our group going forward."
Both Chabot and Tkachuk were alternates towards the end of last season for Ottawa while Gudbranson has been a leader for the majority of his career despite still being only 28.
"It's definitely a great honor," said the 23-year-old Chabot. "Obviously, I had the chance to wear it a little bit last year but now for it to be official is great. We talk a lot about being a leader and it's something I want to bring to this team. To have the letter on the jersey means a lot."
It hit hard too for Gudbranson, an Ottawa native who the Sens acquired during the offseason from Anaheim. When he was acquired, Gudbranson became by defacto one of the older guys on the team and was told his experience was one of the key reasons the trade was made.
"[I'm] very proud," he said. "This is an incredible experience coming here and putting a Sens logo on. It's been very very special every single day and something I'm definitely not taking for granted. It's one thing to come back and play for your hometown team and I had this conversation with my wife last night about how cool it was."
As for Tkachuk, his dad, Keith, was a captain in the NHL for seven seasons. His brother, Matthew, has been an alternate in Calgary the last two years so leadership runs in the family.
"It's something that I take very seriously. It's not going to change who I am or the way I play," the 21-year-old said. "I'm going to try and lead by example … but I'm definitely very honoured and lucky to have this opportunity and I want to make the most of it."