One man’s injury is another man’s opportunity. With news coming out that Auston Matthews was nursing a wrist injury and wouldn’t participate in any of the on-ice activities during All-Star weekend, we knew a replacement would be announced. Turns out that replacement is Ottawa Senators sophomore Brady Tkachuk. Tkachuk will join Anthony Duclair in representing the Sens, making Mitch Marner the lone Maple Leafs representative. It will be the first ASG appearance for both forwards.
Tkachuk currently has 15 goals and 12 assists through 48 games, putting him on pace for 25 goals and 46 points, which would just eclipse the 22 goals and 45 points from his rookie season. Those totals were enough for Tkachuk to finish 5th in Calder voting last season as rookie of the year. He’s also tied for 8th in the NHL with 170 shots on goal this season. He’s also one of only four players (min. 10 games played) on the Sens to earn more than 50% of the 5v5 shot attempts when he’s on the ice.
On top of the stats, Tkachuk is undoubtedly the kind of player who should be at an All-Star Game. He has an infectious personality both on and off the ice. Whether it’s flossing off against a fan during warmups, getting mic’d up for the Sens Skills Competition (including more flossing), or taking the time to make young fans’ days during open skates, he is exactly the kind of player who shines during these types of events. With the NHL deciding there may be a market for showing off player personalities, Tkachuk is exactly the kind of player they should be showcasing. Add in that the All-Star Game is in Tkachuk’s hometown of St. Louis, and this is a perfect addition. Here’s wishing Tkachuk and Duclair a great time this weekend!