Following Thursday's blockbuster trade, we've begun the process of unpacking the plethora of assets the Sens acquired from the San Jose Sharks. As fans check stats pages, google scouting reports and start to put faces to the new names, one of the prospects acquired, 2017 first round pick Josh Norris, has a long history with another recent addition to the team.
"I shook Josh's hand at the Draft this past year because he's Brady Tkachuk's best friend and he ended up in our suite that night," recalled Senators general manager Pierre Dorion at yesterday's press conference.
By my count, Norris and Tkachuk have played in 172 games together over the past 3 seasons as members of the United States National Team, most recently winning bronze with Team USA at the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, and have formed a strong bond over that span.
"When I saw the trade I was excited to see that he was a part of it," said Tkachuk after today's on ice session. "We played together at the U.S. program and her's one of my best friends so it's pretty cool how things can come full circle."
"He called me right when things were starting to become official and he was super excited," Tkachuk continued. "He found out right before his practice so he was a little distracted for that. We've talked a few times already and he's super pumped."
It's been a bit of a surreal past few months for Tkachuk who ended up in the same organization as his good friends Logan Brown and Colin White after being selected 4th overall in Dallas this past June and has credited the pair with helping him get accustomed in Ottawa. More important than collecting a bunch of Tkachuk's closest pals, one of the Sens primary goals has been to add speed and skill to the development pipelines and he feels they've added a great piece in Norris.
"He's a 200-foot player," Tkachuk said. "He's unbelievable offensively and defensively. He's great with the puck, unbelievable speed, unbelievable shot and he's one of the best players that I've played with. One of the best things about him is that he's an even better guy off the ice too."
Norris is currently set to embark on his sophomore year with the Michigan Wolverines when they kick their season off on Oct. 6th against Vermont.