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Tkachuk ready for surreal All-Star experience

After being named an injury replacement yesterday, Brady Tkachuk is set to join his brother Matthew for NHL All-Star Weekend in their hometown of St. Louis.

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

He's been an All-Star in Ottawa for the past season and a half but the NHL made it official on Wednesday and extended an invitation for Sens winger Brady Tkachuk to join Team Atlantic Division for this weekend's All-Star festivities in St. Louis as an injury replacement.

The late addition means that Tkachuk will join his brother Matthew, a member of the Calgary Flames who was named to Team Pacific, will both be on-ice participants in the city they grew up together in.

"Honestly, it was unbelievable to get that call," said the younger Tkachuk who touched down in St. Louis today. "It really is a dream come true to be able to share this with my brother in our hometown. It's going to be an awesome weekend for my family and myself."

Brady had initially planned to join his family in support of his brother this weekend but he isn't complaining about the last minute request that will see him get his first All-Star nod in front of family and friends.

"It definitely wrinkles my original plans a little bit but I'm so thankful and so happy be here in St. Louis," he said about the change to his travel schedule during the Bye Week. "Just being named an NHL All-Star is a huge honour but getting the opportunity to share it on the ice with brother and in the city we grew up in is going to be surreal."

The Tkachuk brothers are no strangers to these kinds of events and Brady recalls attending games and practices at the rink with his father, former NHL All-Star Keith Tkachuk, as a child. A photo made the rounds on social media this morning that showed the youngsters sitting on the boards during the Skills Competition that their dad was participating in and Brady admitted that it brought back a lot of good memories.

"I remember so many good times like that at the rink with dad and brother growing up," said Brady. "We have a bunch of pictures of stuff like that and it's crazy to think that we'll get to make more memories like that this weekend."

Tweet from @andystrickland: Sneak peak at Big Walt preparing Matthew and Brady Tkachuk for their 1st All-Star game #nhlallstar pic.twitter.com/bkjx1pUi1K

Less than a week ago, 40 members of the Tkachuk family and friends descended on Canadian Tire Centre to watch the brothers face off for the final time this regular season and Brady joked that number could be higher this weekend in St. Louis.

"There were already plans in place to come support Matthew this weekend," he said. "But thanks to this last minute call, I think even more friends and family are trying to make the trip now."

With so many potential distractions this weekend, Brady was quick to share that he's still focused on enjoying this unique experience, which includes competiting against the NHL's best.

"It's a great opportunity for me to share the ice and compete with a lot of great players in this league and to represent the Ottawa Senators," said Tkachuk. "It's been a bit of a whirlwind so far but I'm looking forward to just trying to take it all in this weekend."

NHL All-Star Weekend kicks off on the ice tomorrow night for the Skills Competition with the All-Star Games set for Saturday night. For full details and the schedule of events, click here.

Tweet from @Senators: Brady is heading to the #NHLAllStar Game this weekend in St. Louis! pic.twitter.com/dF5pe7G17o

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