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Matthew Tkachuk
Matthew Tkachuk - London Knights.jpg
Tkachuk with the London Knights in 2016
Born December 11, 1997 (1997-12-11) (age 23)
Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
Position Left wing
Shoots Left
NHL team Calgary Flames
NHL Draft 6th overall, 2016
Calgary Flames
Playing career 2016–present

Matthew Tkachuk ( born December 11, 1997) is an American professional ice hockey winger and alternate captain for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL). Tkachuk was selected sixth overall at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Flames.

Playing career

Tkachuk played in the 2010 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with the St. Louis Blues minor ice hockey team, where he was teammates with Logan Brown, Clayton Keller and Luke Kunin.

Major junior

On May 8, 2015, Tkachuk gave up his NCAA eligibility when he signed with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), who had drafted him in the fourth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection. Playing on a line with Mitch Marner and Christian Dvorak, Tkachuk scored 107 points, placing him fifth in OHL scoring. Tkachuk scored the game winning goal in overtime for the Knights in the 2016 Memorial Cup final.

Leading up to the NHL draft, Tkachuk was the second-ranked North American skater, described as a bona fide future star for an NHL club that brings elite skills and attributes. After his selection by the Calgary Flames, sixth overall, Tkachuk was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract on July 7, 2016.

NHL

Tkachuk scored his first NHL goal in a 4–3 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres. On March 20, 2017, he was suspended two games for an elbow to the face of Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. During the next meeting between the two teams on March 29, Tkachuk further settled the hit by fighting Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb. Tkachuk finished seventh in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy, an award awarded annually to the top rookie in the NHL.

During his sophomore year, on November 17, 2017, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced that Tkachuk was suspended one game for his part in a line brawl that took place in a game against the Detroit Red Wings on November 15, 2017. He was suspended again on December 7, 2017, for spearing Toronto Maple Leafs winger Matt Martin. Tkachuk became the second youngest teenager in Flames history to reach 100 games, the first being Dan Quinn in 1985, when he played against the Arizona Coyotes on November 30, 2017. Tkachuk was injured in a game against the New York Islanders on March 11, 2018, and missed the rest of the season. Despite the injury, he finished the season with a career-high 49 points.

Prior to the 2018–19 season, Tkachuk was named an alternate captain for the Flames, along with Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan. Tkachuk set a new career high for points during the season and recorded his first career NHL hat-trick in a 6–3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. On March 15, 2019, Tkachuk recorded his 100th career assist and became the first player from his draft class to reach that milestone.

After being absent from the Flames' training camp due to an unsigned contract, Tkachuk signed a three-year, $21 million extension on September 25, 2019.

International play

Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's ice hockey
IIHF World U18 Championship
Gold 2015 Switzerland
IIHF World U20 Championship
Bronze 2016 Finland

Tkachuk helped the United States win gold at the 2014 World U-17 Hockey Challenge held in Nova Scotia. He also competed at the 2015 IIHF World U18 Championships, where in seven games he registered ten assists (tops in the tournament), leading the U.S. under-18 team to a gold medal win.

At the 2016 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, held in Helsinki, Tkachuk and Auston Matthews each scored 11 points to lead the American team in scoring. After losing in the semi-finals, the U.S. defeated Sweden to claim the bronze medal.

Personal life

His father, Keith Tkachuk, played 1,201 games in the NHL and is a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. Matthew Tkachuk's younger brother, Brady, plays with the Ottawa Senators and won bronze with the United States at the 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Tkachuk was born in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale during his father's stint with the Coyotes, and grew up in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, when his father was dealt to the St. Louis Blues in 2001. He attended Chaminade College Preparatory School from sixth to ninth until he decided to join the United States Hockey League. While at Chaminade, Tkachuk was in the same gym class as Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.

Tkachuk is a second cousin of former NHL player Tom Fitzgerald, who grew up with his father and a second cousin once-removed to his sons, Ryan and Casey, who are both NHL prospects. He is also a cousin of NHL players Kevin and Jimmy Hayes. Tkachuk is a Ukrainian surname, although his father has said that his family background and name is either "Polish or Russian". Tkachuk is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, as his mother Chantal is a native of Winnipeg.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2013–14 U.S. National Development Team USHL 33 5 12 17 18
2014–15 U.S. National Development Team USHL 24 13 20 33 75
2015–16 London Knights OHL 57 30 77 107 80 18 20 20 40 42
2016–17 Calgary Flames NHL 76 13 35 48 105 4 0 0 0 4
2017–18 Calgary Flames NHL 68 24 25 49 61
2018–19 Calgary Flames NHL 80 34 43 77 62 5 2 1 3 18
2019–20 Calgary Flames NHL 69 23 38 61 74 6 1 1 2 10
2020–21 Calgary Flames NHL 56 16 27 43 55
NHL totals 349 110 168 278 357 15 3 2 5 32

International

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2014 United States U17 1 6 4 3 7 2
2015 United States WJC18 1 7 2 10 12 4
2016 United States WJC 3 7 4 7 11 6
Junior totals 20 10 20 30 12

Awards and honors

Award Year Ref
World U-17 Hockey Challenge Gold Medal 2014
IIHF World U18 Championship Gold Medal 2015
NHL
All-Star Game 2020
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