Weight: 195 pounds
Date of birth: December 11, 1997. St Louis, MO
Position: Left Wing
OHL Draft: Round 4, 64th overall, 2013 Priority Selection
Don’t let the fourth round selection deceive you; it comes with the territory when you’re unsure whether a player is going to report. It is the nature of the business in the CHL.
Tkachuk played last season for the US National team where he accumulated 38 goals, 58 assists and 96 points in just 65 games. He also played for the Team USA at the World Junior Championships U-18 and in 7 games scored 4 goals and 10 assists while helping the Americans win a gold medal. His ten assists were tops in the tournament.
Prior to that, Tkachuk played for the U. S. National U-17 squad and in 53 games scored 13 goals and 20 assists. He also played for Team USA at the World Hockey Challenge U-17 and in 6 games scored 4 goals and 3 assists and winning a gold medal. He’s won at every level and his London Knights are poised to make a push for the OHL and Memorial Cup Championships.
The blood lines. Oh the blood lines. Everyone in the hockey world knows his father Keith. His younger brother Brady is currently playing with the U.S. National Team. His cousins include the Fitzgerald’s; Casey (Boston College), Ryan (Boston College), Scott (NHL Bruins Director of Amateur Scouting) and Tom (NHL Devils Assistant GM). And then there is Jimmy and Kevin Hayes (NHL Bruins and Rangers respectively).
He is often compared to the elder Tkachuk. While he has similarities to his father, he is different in as many ways. He took the OHL by storm and you can often find dad quietly watching his son succeed.
Tkachuk is a “made for the NHL” power forward and had an easy time in his transition to the OHL. On a team loaded with stars up front, Coach Dale Hunter had the task of trying to find ice time for all of them. But Tkachuk has made the best of his almost 23 minutes of ice time per game scoring at almost a 2 point per game pace and has been at or near the top of the OHL scoring race from day one.
Tkachuk is relentless and tenacious in his puck pursuit. His anticipation and high hockey sense allows him to think a step ahead and he when you combine the three, he usually causes turnovers. He then uses his vision and excellent playmaking abilities to create chances for his teammates.
Tkachuk also possesses an NHL shot. He has a deceptively quick release and a deadly accurate shot. He’ll also go to the front of the net and clean up for the dirty goals with no hesitation. He’ll drive to the net with or without the puck. He will also battle hard along the boards and has elite puck possession skills.
Tkachuk is no slouch defensively as he brings the attributes from his offensive zone play to his own end. He has no fear of getting in shooting lanes and uses that same anticipation and hockey sense to get into the passing lanes. He’ll work as hard getting back on the back check as he does getting in on defenders in the offensive zone.
Tkachuk is widely considered a top five pick for the 2016 NHL draft and the second player to be selected from the OHL behind Jakob Chychrun. If he keeps this up, he could, (stress on the could) unseat Chychrun.
Like father like son?