2016 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Matthew Tkachuk
Tkachuk brings his father's famous skill and tenacity to the ice, and has eye-popping numbers to drive home the point. He'll be high on the Blue Jackets' list.
Current Team: London Knights, OHL
Date of Birth: December 11, 1997
Place of Birth: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Weight: 194 lbs
It should be no surprise that Matthew Tkachuk, the #2 North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting final rankings, reminds most observers of his talented father, Keith. Great hands, amazing tenacity, a willingness to go anywhere on the ice, and more than a little edge to his game. He has decent size for a winger, and more than a few characterize his game as "NHL-ready."
A winger, Tkachuk has opened plenty of eyes in his debut season for the London Knights, posting 30 goals and 77 assists for a gaudy 107 points in just 57 games. In the playoffs, he has eight goals and a matching number of assists . . . in just seven contests. He is ranked #6 overall in the ISS Rankings, and has a wealth of international experience -- registering more than point-per-game numbers at each WJC level. Here's one assessment of his game:
He's got a wonderful game down low. . .He's an agitator and a guy who's at the net, but who also has a really good stick and good hands as a scorer and playmaker. He also plays well in traffic and knows how to battle below the circles to create offensive opportunities. -- U.S. Junior Team General Manager Jim Johansson
A Good Fit in Columbus?
When you are talking about a player as highly ranked as Tkachuk, with the obvious skill and range to his game, a club would be hard-pressed to bypass him. This goes for the Blue Jackets as well. While they might be more inclined to go for center ice talent, this is not a draft with a lot of centers at the upper ends of the rankings, aside from Auston Matthews. Having drafted a lot of defense, the Blue Jackets are likely ready to return to the offensive end, and Tkachuk would fit the mold. Alternatively, they could likely trade down for some center ice depth. Certainly, he has that mixture of skill and physical game that would catch John Tortorella's attention.
Tkachuk in Action