Boston University freshman forward Brady Tkachuk (6-foot-3, 196 pounds), an A rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2018 NHL Draft, has five assists, 34 shots on goal and a plus-4 rating in 10 games this season. He's the son of United States Hockey Hall of Fame member Keith Tkachuk and the younger brother of Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. Brady has offered to maintain a draft diary for NHL.com, leading up to the NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22-23. In his third entry, he talks about his improved play, the anticipation of scoring his first collegiate goal, and his roommate Shane Bowers, who was part of the big three-way NHL trade involving Matt Duchene on Nov. 5.
Hello hockey fans,
It's been a pretty busy schedule the first month and a half, but it's not the record (4-5-1) we want. We've had a great week of practice and we're starting to click so I feel like our team is going to change things around and start playing the way we know we can play; start turning the tide. I think the biggest thing for us is just making simple plays and trying to go up the ice as a five-man unit. If we can do that, we'd be happy.
[Coach David Quinn] has been stressing to us to make the simple plays and try not to overcomplicate things. We need to play our systems and believe in that. He wants to see us work for each other and use our speed.
Personally, I know I still haven't scored but I've had plenty of chances, so I feel it's coming. I would have liked to have gotten my first goal by now, but we are getting chances, we're working for it. I'm not letting it get to my head because you have to play well, simple, and eventually the goals will come, and maybe they'll come in bunches.
I definitely feel over the past two months since I've been practicing and working, I see a difference in my skating and my skills. I feel as though I've been playing well but there's always another level that you can reach and I believe I'm right there. I definitely feel like I've seen a big improvement in what I can bring.
I know NHL Central Scouting released their preliminary rankings and I was honored to be recognized as an A rated skater, but I also know it's a long season. There's a lot more work to do to reach my goal to one day play in the NHL. Hopefully, after putting in all that work, it'll all work out for me.
My roommate and linemate, Shane Bowers, went through a lot earlier this week when the Ottawa Senators traded him to the Colorado Avalanche as part of the Matt Duchene deal (Bowers was selected No. 28 by Ottawa in the 2017 NHL Draft). It was a crazy couple of hours, watching it on Twitter and then seeing how it all unfolded like it did. Shane was a bit surprised, but he's also excited because he'll go to a great organization where he'll get a great opportunity.
Well, that's it for now. Happy Thanksgiving to all my family, friends and hockey fans across the United States.