Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2018 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here.
The son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk and brother of Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, Boston University winger Brady Tkachuk represents the next top prospect in the family. He is also one of the most polarizing prospects in the 2018 NHL Draft, with opinions of scouts very much divided between top-four pick, and middle of the first round. Tkachuk scored eight goals and 31 points in 40 games for the Terriers this season, as a freshman. He seemed to get better as the season went along and helped the team to a Hockey East Championships. His real coming out party was at the World Junior Championships where he played on the American team’s top line and scored three goals and nine points in seven games winning a bronze medal.
Tkachuk also captained Team USA at the 2017 Under-18 World Championships, scoring seven points in seven games and coming home with a gold medal. One of the older prospects in this draft, Tkachuk was born one day too late for the 2017 Draft.
Brady Tkachuk Scouting Report
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born September 16th, 1999 — St. Louis, Missouri
Height 6’3″ — Weight 196 lbs [191 cm / 89 kg]
Tkachuk has good speed once he gets going, as well as a strong and powerful stride. However, he can work on his first step quickness and agility. The problems with acceleration and explosiveness can hurt him in races to loose pucks. It is an area that he will need to work on over the next several years. He has good lower body strength and balance. This helps him to win battles along the boards, as well as to fight through checks in the cycle game, and get to the front of the net.
Like his family members, Tkachuk plays a power game, doing his best work down low and in tight to the net. He loves to take the puck to the front of the net, and you can often find him at the top of the crease when he does not have it. He is very hard to knock off the puck and has the quick hands to make plays in tight or control the puck on the boards. T Tkachuk is not afraid to play a physical game and is very good on the boards and in front of the net. He can pounce on rebounds and tip in pucks. He also has a good wrist shot and a quick release.
His hockey sense and passing ability are even better than his brother Matthew. There has been some talk that Tkachuk may convert to centre, but he has been used almost exclusively at left wing while at Boston University and at the WJC. His game does seem to project more as a winger than a centre. He gets in quickly on the forecheck, pressuring defensemen and creating turnovers in the offensive zone.
Tkachuk brings a physical edge in all three zones. He backchecks hard and supports the defence in his own zone. Tkachuk is not afraid to battle along the boards, as well as block shots. He has good positioning in the defensive zone and uses his stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes. Tkachuk is amongst the most physical prospects in the entire draft.
Projection and Comparison
Tkachuk has the potential to be a top line winger at the NHL level. He will need to continue to work on his skating, especially his explosiveness. Do not be surprised if he spends next season back at Boston University, as he could use some time before being NHL ready. Stylistically his game resembles that of his brother and his father. The apple does not fall far from the tree. This is a style comparison only though, and not based on talent level.
The following is a compilation of some of the many highlight packages of Tkachuk that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
BOSTON, MA – MARCH 17: Boston University Terriers forward Brady Tkachuk (27) tries to score on Providence Friars goaltender Hayden Hawkey (31) during the Hockey East championship game between the Boston University Terriers and the Providence College Friars on March 18, 2018, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)