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June 22, 2018

Brady Tkachuk

Dallas, Texas

Q. What's your reaction going to Ottawa? Did you think it was a foregone conclusion?
BRADY TKACHUK: There's a lot of speculation, read a couple things the past couple days. See if I can get a clear -- but no, I'm super happy right now and I'm super excited to celebrate this with my family and friends.

Q. What was your reaction when you visited?
BRADY TKACHUK: They are ran by great management. There's great facilities. I was super happy leaving there and it was definitely a spot I wanted to go to.

Q. When you talked to Ottawa, was the idea of you going back next season something they would be okay with?
BRADY TKACHUK: We didn't really talk about that on the visit. Just kind of taking it day by day and just kind of cherish this moment right now. But we'll probably discuss that the next night or so but I'm going to talk to them and talk to my parents and see what's best moving forward.

Q. Do you feel you're ready to play in the NHL this year?
BRADY TKACHUK: It's obviously a big goal of mine to be in the NHL but I obviously don't want to rush it, either. I'm going to talk to them and talk with my parents and see what's best in the long run.

Q. Happy to go higher than Matthew?
BRADY TKACHUK: The weight is definitely off my shoulders and he'll definitely hear about it later. I think he's super proud and I'm just so happy right now.

Q. Do you have concerns about the negative headlines in Ottawa?
BRADY TKACHUK: No. I know it's ran by great management. I know there's great guys in the locker room, too. I'm just super excited now to get there for development camp and see what it's all about and I'm just super excited to be part of this organization.

Q. Do you know Colin?
BRADY TKACHUK: I know Colin played with my brother and I played with Logan Brown growing up. I know Chris Wideman, too. I know a couple guys and I know I'm going to be getting texts from them later, but I'm just super happy right now.

Q. Had you talked to them at all this off-season just to get an idea?
BRADY TKACHUK: Colin White would send me the occasional Snapchat saying, "You're coming to Ottawa." That's how the conversation would start. But no, he's such a great guy and I'm super excited to be seeing him more often.

Q. What was today like for you were you nervous? Were you glad to get this moment over with?
BRADY TKACHUK: I would say in the morning I was more nervous and I got pretty distracted throughout the day with my friends and a couple meetings. All my friends started filing in and catching up and got a lot of pictures before. I'm super excited to have them supporting me and come all this way and I'm super excited to see them after, too.

Q. Inaudible.
BRADY TKACHUK: That didn't come up but I bet they are working hard on keeping him but that didn't come up. It was more just thanking them and I was shaking a bit because I was so excited. I'm not going to lie to you. I was kind of nervous going on the stage. I didn't want to trip on the steps or anything like that.

So I'm just -- when I got up there, it was surreal and it was a dream come true.

Q. How does it feel to have bragging rights in the family now?
BRADY TKACHUK: It feels good. I can it will you that. I'm going to say that tonight, give it Matthew a bit. But tomorrow I'm going to start working again and development camp is soon, so keep training for that and be ready for that.

Q. What does it mean to have another one of those kids coming out of St. Louis?
BRADY TKACHUK: It's a huge honor. St. Louis has now become a hockey hot spot because of the people that have stayed and created that organization, guys like Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger, Jeff Brown and my dad. There's others that I'm not naming. There's people that help out so much.

You're going to see a lot more kids from St. Louis coming up and it's so exciting to see because the market in St. Louis, everybody loves their hockey there. The Blues are doing well and there's going to be a lot more kids coming up.

Q. What did your dad tell you?
BRADY TKACHUK: He just said enjoy it because obviously it only happens once. Enjoy it with family, friends and people that have come a long way to support me. Just enjoy it and don't take it for granted.

Q. Did watching Matthew go through it help prepare you?
BRADY TKACHUK: I think so. I mean, whenever Matthew had meeting, I was kind of sitting in with our agency. So just to be with him and see him and how he carried himself on this day when he was -- when he was going through it has helped out. But no, to finally be the guy in his shoes and feel the nerves; my heart was beating before the pick and I knew I felt really good when they were going up there and my advisor looked back and gave me the head nod. I'm super happy and super excited to be a center.

Q. What is the biggest consideration as far as returning back --
BRADY TKACHUK: I'm just looking at the long run. I want to have a long career, so I don't want to rush anything, but I definitely feel like I can be ready. But that's a discussion for the next, you know, couple days. I'm going to try to enjoy it this weekend.

But I will definitely probably talk about that on Sunday and throughout the weeks.

Q. What about your year at BU helped you the most?
BRADY TKACHUK: Playing against 25-year-olds and the team we had, especially. We had a great team and it was always competitive practices, always working against each other. We had a great group of guys and back to the 25-year-olds, playing against big strong D -- doing more battles instead of trying to out-muscle them because they are pretty strong guys. Overall it was a great spot for me and felt like I really developed and elevated my game throughout the year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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