OTTAWA --  

Brady Tkachuk will spend the next seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators.

"I love everything about being in Ottawa," said Tkachuk shortly after signing a seven-year contract extension to be in Ottawa. "The people, the community, the teammates, coaches, management, ownership - it's the place I wanted to be for a long time."

Just hours before the Senators opened the 2021-22 season against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Canadian Tire Centre, the Senators announced the club signed Tkachuk to a seven-year, $57.5 million contract.

"This is the place I wanted to be, the city has been great to me ever since I've gotten here, the fans are so supportive," said Tkachuk during a media conference at the CTC Thursday night..

"I'm really happy to be back."

Tkachuk was introduced to the capacity crowd at Canadian Tire Centre during the first period of the Senators 3-2 win over Toronto Thursday night.

Tkachuk appeared in each of the Senators' 56 games in 2020-21 and led the team in scoring with 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists).

"We’re thrilled to come to a long-term agreement with Brady," said Senators owner and governor Eugene Melnyk. "He’s a valuable member of our leadership group, is universally respected by his teammates and a player we’re certain will have a significant impact on our success in the seasons ahead."

Tkachuk missed the Senators training camp and pre-season games while contract talks continued.

"It's huge. Obviously having Brady signed and signed to a long-term, seven-year deal is something that the organization has wanted through the off-season," said Anthony Leblanc, Senators president of business operations.

"The fact that it is a long-term, seven-year deal locking up a very important part of the long-term strategy that Pierre (Dorion) and Eugene have been working on is a big deal. It's the endorsement that I think the fan base wanted to see."

Tkachuk posted a video on Twitter featuring the song "Come with Me Now" by Kongos, and saying, "Let's go!"

The 22-year-old Tkachuk was the Senators first round pick in 2018.

The Senators say the contract has an annual value of $8.214 million. The breakdown is $4.0M in 2021-22, $6.5M in 2022-23, $10.5M in 2023-24, $10.5M in 2024-25, $10.5M in 2025-26, $8.5 in 2026-27 and $7.0M in 2027-28.