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2018 NHL Draft Profile: Brady Tkachuk

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An early look at what just might be the NHL’s newest power-forward.

Brady Tkachuk #7 of United States scores a goal against Carter Hart #31 of Canada in the shootout against Canada during the IIHF World Junior Championship at New Era Field on December 29, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. The United States beat Canada 4-3. Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

If the name “Brady Tkachuk” sounds familiar to you, well it should be — Brady is the son of former NHL star forward Keith Tkachuk and is also the brother of Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. Brady started making a name for himself last year while playing for the United States National Development Juniors Team playing in the USHL and recording 23 points in 24 games in his first season. However, Tkachuk would only last half the season in the USHL as he was called up to the U.S. National U18 team where he finished the season recording 25 goals and 29 assists for 54 points in 61 games.

Tkachuk finished off his year serving as the captain for the US National U18 team in the WJC-18 tournament. Brady eventually led USA to gold, beating Finland 4-2 in the finals and he finished with one goal and six assists for seven points in seven games.

Tkachuk is now having another successful year, playing in the NCAA Division I for Boston University in his freshmen season, registering 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in his first 34 games. He was also selected to Team USA to compete in the 2017-2018 World Juniors where he finished the tournament recording three goals and six assists for nine points in seven games and winning the Bronze medal.

Brady is described by ISS Hockey as a “Big body player who isn’t afraid to use it and plays all 200 feet of the rink and loves those dirty areas.”

Tkachuk keeps moving his way up the 2018 NHL draft rankings and is now projected to go within the top five, which is more bad news for Sharks fans if they had an eye out for him.

Strengths

The question for Brady Tkachuk is not what strengths does he have, the question is what strengths does he not have. Tkachuk is a 6-foot-3 power forward and is only 18-years-old. “Brady Tkachuk plays the game as his name would suggest, physically, aggressively and with a significant amount of skill” said Peter Harling of Dobber Prospects.

Tkachuk’s main advantage of his game is that he uses his size and agility in-front of the net to create that presence every team needs and goes for the greasy goals. Lastly, for his size, Tkachuk is already an incredible passer which really showed in the U20 tournament this year. “He’s a lot bigger than me, a lot faster than me,” Matthew Tkachuk told Michael Traikos of The National Post of his younger brother. “He’s kind of that dual threat where he can beat you with power and with quick, tight plays as well.”

Areas of Improvement

Tkachuk is one of the most complete players of this draft class as he has size, hockey knowledge and a crazy shot, but if there is one area of improvement for the 18-year-old, it would be his speed. Tkachuk is a huge player and still has time to develop into a unique and faster skater, but right now the speed is not there. This will be a problem when Tkachuk is trying to catch up on odd-man rushes or is trying to back-check and he will need to train hard this summer to address that problem.

Highlight

If I have not already hooked you on Brady Tkachuk, here is a five minute video of all of his highlights in this past World Juniors tournament. He really makes his presence known in this video by getting to the loose pucks in-front of the net and creating space for him and his teammates to score.

Tkachuk also shows off his incredible shot in this video along with his hands as shown in the shootout goal against Canada.

The last thing I want to point out is that in almost every highlight Tkachuk is right in-front of the net creating chances for a quick shot, a pass or even a tip. This kid will be fun to watch for years to come.