Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: LW Matthew Tkachuk

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks own seven picks early in each round. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Today we are taking a look at London Knights forward Matthew Tkachuk!

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Name: Matthew Tkachuk

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 6’1″, 194lbs

Team/League: London Knights, OHL

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 2nd (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 1.5/5, 4.5/5

NHL-potential: Elite Forward

Draft Range: Top 10

Scouting report

"A multi-dimensional energy winger that plays a pro-style, adaptive game. Well-versed as a guy who can consistently put up points, but also as an agitator who plays with a little bit of bite and nastiness. Skates with excellent balance and speed, outclassing many in his age range. No lack of offensive instincts and knows how to score in many different ways. Confidence in his abilities and playing to the extent of his capabilities strengthens his work ethic and creativity. All-in-all, a unique and effective forward who defines his own limits and seeks to exceed them, along with all on-ice expectations. (Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects 2016)"


Matthew Tkachuk, son of NHL legend Keith, is an extremely talented forward who excels in all three zones, thanks to terrific scoring abilities and two-way play.

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Tkachuk, a 6-foot-1, 194-pound winger, plays with a lot of energy and battles hard whenever he is on the ice. He plays with a lot of grit and uses his body to win puck battles in the corners. Furthermore, he is quick on the back check and uses his stick well to force turnovers before his opponents can enter the offensive zone.

In addition, Tkachuk makes a huge impact on offense and creates an endless amount of scoring chances. His skating and puck skills allow him to get past opposing defensemen and open up passing lanes. Tkachuk plays very accurate passes which led to 77 assists in just 57 games this season.

Perhaps his biggest asset is his scoring ability. Tkachuk drives to the net hard and can bury the puck in the net in various ways. He possesses strong, accurate wrist shots, slap shots and one timers, but he can also dangle around the goalie to put it in.

Tkachuk’s puck skills, hockey sense and work ethic make him a terrific forward who plays a complete 200-foot game and can contribute in all areas.


Tkachuk does not exactly have a weakness, which is why he is perhaps the best undrafted forward prospect in North America. In order to transfer his game to the NHL, however, he will likely have to get a little stronger. Playing a gritty, physical style is easy in junior hockey, but it gets much tougher playing against guys like Zdeno Chara or Victor Hedman.

Furthermore, Tkachuk will need some time to adjust his offensive game, as dangling around defensemen is not exactly easy in the NHL either. He has all the tools to succeed but will need some more seasoning and development in the OHL first.

Final Thoughts

NHL Central Scouting had Matthew Tkachuk ranked the No. 1 North American skater for most of the year, but he was passed by Pierre-Luc Dubois of the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the final rankings. Still, Tkachuk is an extremely talented forward and many teams will have him ranked ahead of Dubois.

Next: Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: Mikhail Sergachev

If the Vancouver Canucks end up picking outside the top three, Tkachuk is a very nice option. He plays a great two-way game that should allow him to be successful at the highest level very soon and for many, many years. Tkachuk is not far away from No. 3 ranked Jesse Puljujarvi either.

That said, the Canucks will likely only pick him if they end up with the fourth or sixth-overall selection, since GM Jim Benning pointed out that he would pick a defenseman at No. 5.