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, has 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists), 111 shots on goal and a plus-11 rating in 34 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 discusses college life, and the best-of-3 Hockey East tournament quarterfinal series against the University of Connecticut this weekend.
Hi hockey fans.
We're on spring break this week, so since there's no classes I have some time to do some things in addition to practicing on and off the ice to prepare for our best-of-3 series against Connecticut starting Friday. When I can, I like to relax in the room when we're not at the rink and hang out with my roommate Shane Bowers and the other freshmen in the dorms. We play a lot of "Fortnite" on the video game console, and listen to music.
It's also a good time to catch up on homework. Right now, I'm trying to get into the communications field; I enjoy the communications classes. I just started my second semester learning about sports psychology, the motivation behind that and just what athletes are thinking. I've actually really enjoyed that class and have learned a lot.
We're all looking forward to beginning the Hockey East tournament. We played Connecticut three times this year (1-1-1) and it's going to be another good test. I definitely feel our team can do it. We got all the pieces back so we're going to be ready to go. Our preparation at the rink has been good. Everyone is really dialed into practice and we're really working hard off the ice, getting stronger in order to maintain the workouts we've done all year. This is definitely crunch time for our team and we've got the right group to do it.
I think our team has picked it up over the second half. We've been on a roll here and now it's a new season and in the playoffs, anything can happen. We know we have to win Hockey East to earn a bid into the NCAA Tournament, so that's our main goal. We're focused on each opponent and the short-term goals right now.
Having home-ice advantage (against Connecticut) is nice but I don't know if there will be as many students because they're on spring break. But just to have the home ice feel, staying in your own bed, is important too instead of staying in the hotel. You kind of have that everyday ritual at the rink so it's nice to have home ice.
One area we need to take advantage is special teams. I definitely think our power play is clicking right now. I just think for me, I'm always around the net on power plays and on 5-on-5. I'm getting a different perspective on the power play in playing on the half wall, so you see the game a little bit different. You see more options. This is the first time I've done it, so I want to learn as best as can. I think it's all about moving the puck quickly when I get it to find an option. That's the biggest thing. Both our power play and penalty kill will be tested but we've been practicing them a lot.
I feel good and feel re-energized. I think coach (David Quinn) has definitely helped us out as a team. In these past two weeks, he's given us some off days just to kind of regroup and replenish, and everybody is ready to go. We've been working out hard and everyone is in tip-top shape for these big games.
Thanks for reading this month.