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Road to the NHL Draft: Matthew Tkachuk

Matthew Tkachuk

Position: Left wing

Junior team: London (OHL)

Born: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 200 pounds

2015-16 stats: 57 games, 30 goals, 77 assists, 107 points

Central Scouting rank: No. 2 (North America)

Lowdown: Keith Tkachuk did it all during his 18-year NHL career. He was a big, tough winger who could score, pass, hit and fight. He’s a Hall of Fame candidate after putting up 538 goals, 1,065 points and 2,219 penalty minutes in 1,201 games. Normally, it’d be crazy to say an 18-year-old is capable of following in his footsteps. But when that player is his son, it’s no longer crazy.

Matthew Tkachuk has seemingly inherited it all from his father. He’s got size, skill, smarts and tenacity. He finished fifth in the Ontario Hockey League scoring race with 107 points, then became a postseason legend. He scored the overtime winner to give London the Memorial Cup, his 20th goal in 18 playoff games despite playing on an injured ankle.

Tkachuk is fearless, making him eager to go to the net or into the corner. He gets to the right spot on the ice and sees it well. He tied likely No. 1 pick Auston Matthews for the U.S. scoring lead at the world juniors with 11 points, including seven assists, in seven games.

They said it: “Tkachuk is unique in that he brings both skill and a physical package to game situations. He possesses elite hockey sense and vision, has a very good scoring touch and makes players around him better. One of the best puck-protection players eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, he is difficult to check and willing to go to the hard areas to score goals.” – Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 24-25 in First Niagara Center.

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