2016 NHL Draft Player Profiles: Matthew Tkachuk
Could the Sabres trade up to grab Tkachuk with the fourth overall pick, or will he fall all the way to #8?
Weight: 194 lbs
Date of Birth: 12/11/1997
Place of Birth: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Current Team: London Knights (OHL)
ISS Ranking: 4
The last name Tkachuk is familiar to many hockey fans, thanks to the long and productive career of Keith Tkachuk, one of the greatest US-born players to ever grace the ice. This year, Keith's son, Matthew Tkachuk, will almost certainly go very early in the first round, and brings a game very much like his father's to whichever team should draft him.
Big, powerful, and nasty are three words that describe Matthew's game, but words like speed, creativity, and work ethic go right along with it. Tkachuk brings everything you want in a power forward, including the ability to consistently put up points in both the regular season, playoffs, and international competition. You'll hear people worry that so many of his points came on secondary assists, but Tkachuk has enough offensive capability in his own right that you shouldn't be too worried about that.
What the experts are saying
A multi-dimensional energy winger that plays a pro-style, adaptive game. Well-versed as a guy who can consistently put up points, but also as an agitator who plays with a little bit of bite and nastiness. Skates with excellent balance and speed, outclassing many in his age range. No lack of offensive instincts and knows how to score in many different ways. Confidence in his abilities and playing to the extent of his capabilities strengthens his work ethic and creativity. All-in-all, a unique and effective forward who defines his own limits and seeks to exceed them, along with all on-ice expectations.
- Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
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.
- Jim Johansson, GM, US National Junior Team
Clocking in at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Tkachuk plays a power forward's game. Where he differentiates himself from most of that ilk is his tremendous vision and passing ability.
He's very good at making tough passes, especially following grunt work behind the net and along the walls, at times making you think that he has eyes in the back of his head. If there is one distinct difference between Mathew and his father, it's that the younger Tkachuk tends to shoot less.
In terms of succeeding in small areas like his father did, Tkachuk is amongst the best in the class. He demonstrates excellent hand-to-eye coordination from the hash marks down, and his grittiness and determination often see him spinning from beneath the goal line to jam a puck at the goal area.
- Kris Baker, Sabres.com