Boston University freshman left wing Brady Tkachuk (6-foot-3, 196 pounds), No. 3 in NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of North American skaters eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft, had 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists), 131 shots on goal and a plus-15 rating in 40 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 seventh entry, Tkachuk recaps his first season with the Terriers and his excitement for the NHL Draft.
Hello hockey fans.
Well, my freshman hockey season at BU ended with a loss against Michigan in the Frozen Four semifinal round.
I felt it was a pretty good season. In the first half, it was tough to adjust to the bigger defenders and the speed, but I thought after a couple of games I definitely felt at home and could play my game. I kind of used my speed and strength and got more confident as the season went on.
At the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, I thought I had a good tournament playing for the United States and wanted to carry that over into the second half of my season at Boston University. I wanted to take a couple more steps forward with my play, and thought I did that. I definitely think the season fell a little short because we had the team, but a few uncontrollable bounces against Michigan happened ... it is what it is. Overall, though, it was a good year for myself and the team.
As a team, we watched the Frozen Four championship game and it was awesome to see some of the guys I know for the University of Minnesota Duluth win. I played with a few guys from each team at world juniors and I'm just so happy for those guys because it's everyone's goal to win that.
But I'm not going to lie, I was pretty jealous too. That was a goal of ours at BU, and we were so close and it stung a little bit, but I credit those guys. They're all unbelievable players and I'm very happy to see them win.
I feel playing the year in college was huge and it helped me 100 percent. We played against some of the best guys in the country. Now, I'm looking at guys after the season who signed and are making an impact in the NHL like Ryan Donato (Boston Bruins) and Henrik Borgstrom (Florida Panthers), guys we played against this year. It's pretty cool to see them having an impact in the NHL, so I definitely think college was the way to go.
So now that the season is over, it's time to gear up for the NHL Draft. Things are settling down, and I definitely think more of a focus is on the NHL Scouting Combine and trying to do well on the tests. It's crazy how fast this year has gone by. I'm still trying to live in the moment and cherish these moments at school.
At the end of the season, we had two weeks off and began working out again [April 9]. We have unbelievable facilities at Boston University and the best strength and conditioning coaches. To have all the equipment here is a great benefit. I'm starting to rebuild my body and have a good diet plan implemented, so I'll try and follow that as best I can and try to do all those little details. Hopefully it'll help me out in the long run.
One of my biggest goals is trying to make an NHL roster come October. It's something I'm working toward and something I've worked for my whole life. If it happens, it happens, but if the NHL team's agenda wants me to go back for another year at Boston University and keep working on my game, it's another year of development. Whatever happens, happens, but it's a huge goal of mine to make the NHL next year.
The next time I talk to you will be from the combine. Enjoy the Stanley Cup Playoffs everyone!