Draft Prospect Profile: Brady Tkachuk


Each day over the next month leading up to the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, held on June 22 in Dallas, we will be taking a look at the top 31 prospects available, starting with the 31st and leading up to number one.

Next in the series of prospect profiles is our 4th-ranked prospect, left wing Brady Tkachuk.

Brady Tkachuk
2017–18 Team: Boston (NCAA)
Date of Birth: September 16, 1999
Place of Birth: Scottsdale, AZ
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 192 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: LW

NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 2
NHL Central Scouting Midterm Ranking: 3

NHL Comparable: Matthew Tkachuk

Brady Tkachuk is the premier power forward available in this year’s draft class. Tkachuk packages an amazing skill set with his big body to be an all-around issue for the opposition. The son of longtime NHL legend Keith Tkachuk and brother of Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames is unquestionably one of the most NHL-ready players in the draft, especially given he missed the cutoff for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by hours. Tkachuk is the oldest first-year eligible player in the draft class.

Despite being a large man, Tkachuk has very good skating. He has very good top-end speed and decent acceleration, though he could certainly improve in that area. However, once he gets going, Tkachuk is able to hold his own with the majority of players. His big frame allows him to be very stable on his feet, making Tkachuk very difficult to move when he plants himself in front of the net. Additionally, his strong legs give him excellent power on his stride.

Tkachuk possesses a diverse set of offensive skills. His shot is pretty good, as it has good power and accuracy and a decent release. His hands also allow him to be good controlling rebounds and sending them to the back of the net. Tkachuk has good vision and awareness, which in addition to his good hands, allow him to be a good passer. Similar to his father and brother, Tkachuk enjoys throwing his body around to cause havoc on the forecheck. His strength also helps him win puck battles along the boards and in front of the net.

Tkachuk’s physicality also allows him to be effective in his defensive zone. Tkachuk is not afraid to get in shooting lanes and block shots, and loves using his stick to disrupt the opposition. He does not hesitate to support his defensemen when needed, especially in board battles. Tkachuk’s size gives him an edge in this area and also helps him clear the front of the net when needed. Tkachuk’s skill and skating allow him to transition play from defense to offense quickly as well.

Implications for the Blackhawks
Tkachuk is the type of player the Hawks’ forward group is sorely missing right now. With so many skilled, albeit small, forwards, the Blackhawks could greatly benefit from adding a legit power forward such as Tkachuk. It would not be difficult to see him slot in immediately on the second line with Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane. Tkachuk has the speed, skill and creativity to hang with Schmaltz and Kane, but also possesses the size, strength and grit they lack. Tkachuk would complement the pair very well. This, however, would take some luck for the Hawks, as Tkachuk is expected to be a top-five pick. However, with the quality of defensemen available in the draft and the potential needs of some of the teams picking ahead of Chicago, there is an outside chance Tkachuk could fall down the draft board and be available when the Blackhawks are on the clock with the eighth pick. Do not get your hopes up, though. Odds are good Tkachuk will be a player Hawks fans will be annoyed with every time the team plays against him.

Tkachuk already has an NHL-ready frame and game. It will all come down to what the team drafting Tkachuk wants to do with him. Tkachuk has already stated he is waiting to commit to returning to Boston University until conferring with his NHL team. If the NHL team wants him in their lineup this season, expect Tkachuk to take the ice beginning this fall. Or, if the team would rather he spend another year in college, Tkachuk may not join an NHL roster until 2019–20. But, unlike many other prospects, Tkachuk legitimately is ready to step right into the NHL right away.

Tkachuk has a scarily well-rounded game. His toolbox, size, playing style and mentality should set him up to be a dominant top-six power forward for years to come. He will be a beast to play against, especially come playoff time. Tkachuk will be a valuable long-term piece for the lucky franchise that will call his name on Friday night.

What others are saying
“Brady Tkachuk plays the game as his name would suggest, physically, aggressively and with a significant amount of skill. Tkachuk has a pro ready game in most respects as he is physically mature and strong enough to play against men. His skating is an asset as he has good acceleration and top speed, and is very strong on his skates in terms of balance and can make power drives to the goal when he drops his shoulder and drives to the goal. He is dangerous in front of the goal as he uses his size and strength to plant himself as a screen in front of the goalie and has excellent hand-eye coordination for tips and rebounds. Tkachuk has a quick release on his shot, has a variety of dangerous shooting options from a quick wrist shot, to a powerful one-timer.”
Peter Harling/Dobber Prospects

“He has a little more finesse to his game. Matthew and their dad could go right through the door at you, but Brady may be a little more deceptive with his skill set. But he still has the same drive and tenacity that drives him to the net – except he can also get there with an end-to-end rush.”
Dan Marr/NHL Central Scouting

“We’ve all seen what Matthew Tkachuk has done for the Calgary Flames in his brief NHL career. Some good, some bad and certainly some ugly, but most of it has been good. Now, consider that there’s a player with the ability to agitate like the Flames youngster, but with more speed and skill. What if I told you he has the same last name? Meet Brady Tkachuk. He’s Matthew’s younger brother and should be a top five pick in the upcoming NHL Draft. … His pure skill should be exciting for those teams that have a chance to acquire the young forward. And while they should expect him to live up to the Tkachuk talent pool, they could be getting much more as the youngest Tkachuk also looks like he could be the best yet.”
Andrew Forbes/The Hockey Writers

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