The Ottawa Senators have been without a captain since Erik Karlsson was dealt to the San Jose Sharks in September of 2018.
Since then, a number of Senators’ players have been named Assistant Captains, but no roster member has been named Captain of the franchise.
Ottawa has opted to continue this trend of playing the season without a captain. Today, the Senators franchise announced that once again three players would wear the “A” this season.
Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot, and Erik Gudbranson will all serve as Alternate Captains this season.
Chabot is the longest-tenured Senator of the three. The 23-year-old has played in 205 games with the Senators, originally drafted by the franchise in the first round of the 2015 NHL draft.
The Sainte-Marie, Quebec native joined the team as a 20-year-old but played his first full season in 2017. Last season with the team, Chabot averaged 26 minutes per game.
Tkachuk is another fan-favorite of the Senators. Not afraid to throw his body around, Tkachuk’s playstyle is eerily similar to his hockey kin, brother Matthew and father Keith.
Like Chabot, Tkachuk was drafted in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft by the Sens. During his time with the Senators, Brady has tallied 89 points in 142 games played. As a 21-year-old, Tkachuk is one of the youngest serving Assistants in Senators’ history.
While Erik Gudbranson is new to the Senators’ franchise, he has strong ties to the community of Ottawa. Gudbranson was born in the nation’s capital and played for the Ottawa Jr. 67’s AAA team as an amateur.
Originally taken in the draft by the Florida Panthers, Gudbranson returns home to Ottawa after being traded to the team from the Anaheim Ducks.
Many are saying that the Senators’ decision to name younger players as Assistant Captains is another step in the youth movement inside the organization.
Ottawa has a deep prospect pool and GM Pierre Dorion has already commented on the Senators’ youth, saying that he expects a ton of rookies to crack the lineup this season. Senators fans are itching to see what their newly named Assistant Captains and prospect group can do this season.
The Senators have mentioned that they expect to name a Captain in the near future, but head coach D.J. Smith said that “it’s a real tall order for a young guy to be a captain in a rebuild situation.”
Smith also said that it isn’t fair for a 21, 22, or 23-year-old kid to have to deal with media and answer tough questions.
Chabot and Tkachuk are early leaders to be the next Senators captain. Many believe Chabot will be the newly named C after signing a long extension with the club.
For now, the Senators have named three Assistants. The club opened Training Camp on the first of January as they prepare for puck drop against rival Toronto on the 15th of January, two days after the NHL officially opens their season.