BUFFALO -- Left wing Brady Tkachuk is the latest member of his family to have a memorable moment at KeyBank Center.
Tkachuk (6-foot-3, 196 pounds), a potential top-five pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, had the winning goal, an assist and a game-high five shots on goal for Team Leetch in its 6-5 victory against Team Chelios at the 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Thursday. The event featured 42 of the top United States-born players eligible for the 2018 draft.
Tkachuk's older brother, Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, was selected by them with the No. 6 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft at KeyBank Center, the home of the Buffalo Sabres.
"It was cool because I got to experience [the draft] with Matthew," Tkachuk said. "I remember exactly where we sat and I looked over there before the game. It was a fun time."
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Making it more fun was the number of family members he had in attendance Thursday. Among them were his father, United States Hockey Hall of Famer and former NHL forward Keith Tkachuk, and his mother, Chantal, plus members of his mom's side of the family who traveled from Hamilton, Ontario, about an hour's drive.
"Both grandpas and grandmas are here so it'll be fun to see them after," he said.
With the game tied 5-5 in the third period, Tkachuk jumped on a loose puck in his end and carried it up the right boards. He centered to Christian Krygier, who sent the puck back to Tkachuk for a one-timer from the left circle at 14:53.
Tkachuk, who had an assist on a second-period goal by Blake McLaughlin, was named player of the game.
"Just worked hard every shift, tried to get better every shift, with the puck make some plays," he said. "Overall my mindset was to be the best every shift, every time I was out there and every time I had the puck."
Tkachuk's offensive skills drew most of the attention, but scouts like his all-around ability best.
"He's a pretty complete package," NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr said. "He can play and be impactful in every situation, with and without the puck. If you need a goal, he'll go out and get a goal-scoring chance. If you're protecting a lead, he'll be responsible defensively. If you need someone to go in there and maybe throw their weight around a little bit, let the other team know we won't be pushed around, he's a guy that steps up and he seems to rise to those occasions."
This game might not represent Tkachuk's last big day in Buffalo. The 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held here in December and January, and Tkachuk has a good chance to play a major role for the United States, which will try to repeat as champion.
"That's definitely a personal goal of mine, to make that team," he said. "It'll be awesome to come back at Christmastime."
To do that, Tkachuk will need a strong start to the season for Boston University, which opens against Union College on Sept. 30. He's been on campus for about three weeks and said he's already started to build a good rapport with his new teammates and the coaching staff.
"Outside the rink you've got to treat yourself like a professional, eating healthy, getting your rest and stuff," Tkachuk said. "On the ice it's battling every day trying to get better. It's been awesome so far."