Brady Tkachuk is slated to make his season debut for the Ottawa Senators on Thursday against the San Jose Sharks, head coach DJ Smith confirmed Sunday.

"Unless something happens physically, Brady will be in Thursday," Smith said.

Tkachuk returned to practice with the Senators last Friday after signing a seven-year, $57.5-million contract as a restricted free agent. He missed the entire preseason will negotiating the new deal. 

The 22-year-old will join a Senators squad that sits at 2-1 through three games after defeating the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Sunday. It's a significantly better start for the Senators than last season, when they started the year 1-8-1.

“I still have nightmares about how long it took us to get our second win,” Smith said after Sunday's win. “To get two wins in three games is good for us, especially going into a three-day break here.”

Tkachuk played in all 56 games last season and led the team with 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists). Selected fourth overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, he has registered 60 goals and 65 assists in 198 career games.