Matthew Tkachuk

Darren Walker

Tkachuk, son of former NHL power forward Keith Tkachuk, is a feisty pro-style winger who goes hard to the net. He is an offense-minded winger who plays a quick-thinking, dynamic game. He is a clever winger with explosive burst who has the ability to take over a game with his play down low. Tkachuk has a tendency to go to the front of the net and around the crease, both with and without the puck, as he intelligently anticipates the puck’s movement. He has a penchant for getting to prime offensive areas thanks to his high hockey IQ and ability to squeeze through bodies to gain positioning. Tkachuk has a flair to his game, making creative and skilled passes, and has no trouble making slick moves with the puck while under pressure. Even when he is completely stretched out, he is strong on the puck, protecting it and making it difficult for defenders to knock him off it. He puts himself in the right position on his check to hold them off and when knocked down, he is quick to get back up and is more driven than before to make something happen and make the opponent pay. The winger displays a long, extremely strong northbound stride, which allows him to pick up speed with each push through the ice. Tkachuk uses his speed effectively to chase down and pressure the puck-carrier and/or get moving up. The biggest strength in his game is his vision in all areas of the ice. He can make a timely behind-the-back pass right on the tape of his teammate streaking for the net while holding off a defender’s check. He sees the whole ice and makes quick decisions on the best option after quickly evaluating and seeing the play develop. Tkachuk exploits lanes and picks his spots with near perfection. While at high speed, he still maintains possession of the puck and can do so while he makes elusive plays and power moves around defenders without slowing down. He possesses creative and fast hands as he moves to the net with a goal-scorer’s touch. Defensively, he races back on the backcheck and picks up his man, even covering up missed assignments when needed.  (May 2016)