Brady Tkachuk is the most loveable player in the NHL

During Wednesday night’s Game 1 of the heated second-round series between the Oilers and the Flames, Calgary winger Matthew Tkachuk hit a career milestone. The 24-year-old scored his first career playoff hat trick that ended up eventually earning his team the chaotic 9-6 victory over their provincial rivals.

Everywhere, neutral observers and dedicated fans alike were gawking at the magnitude of bedlam that just the first 60 minutes of this playoff series had on display. It wasn’t just goals, but on-ice chirps about off-ice issues, post-whistle scrums, wild sequences of desperation, goaltending controversy – this series has been an incredible example of what peak defenceless hockey chaos can be.

But the main attraction is not what is going to happen next on the ice, but it is what Tkachuk’s brother Brady might do next in the stands.

The 22-year-old gargantuan younger sibling that just so happens to be the captain of the Ottawa Senators, has been seen doing absolutely anything and everything to celebrate his brother’s success so far in the playoffs.

In just a couple weeks he has been seen going up the stands high-fiving Flames fans with two beers in his back pockets, tossed out t-shirts at a Calgary fan event, been on live broadcasts threatening to sing The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” with “tarps off”, and celebrated the Flames’ overtime win in Game 7 of the first round by hoisting a child on top of his shoulders. It was later confirmed by Matthew that it was in fact, a stranger’s kid and the Calgary winger was “surprised his parents let him go on Brady’s shoulders.”

This is all to say that Brady is certainly the most likeable player in the entire NHL right now and all we want is more.

There is simply no other player in the league that wholeheartedly embraces the limelight like Brady. And that is not to say that he is built for stardom or celebrity outside of hockey in anyway, but it is in a unique and quirky way that he is getting this amount of praise for just being a normal, supportive brother – that just so happens to be a top-tier player as well – who also loves to smash a couple beers and sing karaoke after his own season is done.

For Brady, it isn’t even close to loving what he can do on the ice. Of course, that is important and he can still do plenty good with that, since he scored 30 goals and 67 points in 79 games for his Sens this season; but it goes beyond that.

With the looks of an adult baby – in this nicest way possible – and the feeling of companionship you get from one of your dad’s friends that loves to hangout in his driveway on Friday nights, Brady is inevitably relatable. The way that he can scream and yell and no doubt shout “let’s go!!” with all the enthusiasm in the world, makes every fan connect with him in a unique way.

In the NHL, fans have grown accustomed to its stars being perhaps the dullest human beings on the planet. Whenever a quote is given with some smidge of pizzaz or snark in a post-game interview, the hockey world goes nuts. Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby have been trained since birth to play this game of hockey and be the best in the world at their peaks, but try to pry anything that shows an ounce of personality out of them, and they will crumble under that different pressure. It’s certainly not a negative aspect, but they are miles more entertaining on the ice than they will ever be off of it.

Now, with Brady, we have our entertainment cup overflowing with the antics that he has been up to and just how he has carried himself through the first four seasons of his career since being drafted fourth overall in 2018. And family appears to be the driving force behind being so open to the media and being the shining force up north.

Brady just loves the hell out of his family. Obviously, being the son of longtime NHLer Keith Tkachuk has its perks, but it is the undying support that he has for his siblings. The love for his brother has been obvious, but according to a story from The Athletic in 2020, during his sister Taryn’s high school field hockey championship game, Brady was in charge of getting the crowd going and was even seen screaming in support standing out of the sunroof of their car as they passed by the field before the game. Even without cameras on him or any attention except that of some field hockey fans, Brady is the life of any crowd.

There is a uniqueness to his personality within the sport of hockey, but it is also something so common among any fan base. It is that relatability that makes Brady just such an interesting character and one that you want to invest into. In other sports, they appear to have an abundance of big-time personalities, but in the subdued nature of top-level hockey, it is something that is desperately needed and one 6-foot-4 winger that plays in Canada’s capital on an young, up-and-coming team might be doing just that.

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