"Unique with his skill and physical attributes. Possesses elite hockey sense and vision to consistently find ways to contribute and impact. Makes players around him better and has a very good scoring touch around the net. Plays inside the dots and is willing to go to the hard areas to score goals. One of the best puck protection players in the draft." - NHL Central Scouting
Tkachuk finished fifth in the Ontario Hockey League with 30-77—107 in 57 games while skating mostly on a dynamic London Knights line with Coyotes prospect Christian Dvorak (52-69—121 in 59 GP) and Maple Leafs prospect Mitchell Marner (39-77—116 in 57 GP). He then led all players with 20 goals in the OHL Playoffs (20-20—40) to help the Knights win the league championship.
At the 2016 Memorial Cup in Red Deer, Alta., Tkachuk finished with 5-3—8 in four games – including two goals in the championship game, one of which was the overtime winner – as the Knights captured the second Memorial Cup title in franchise history.
In 2014-15, Tkachuk registered 38-57—95 in 65 games for USA Hockey National Team Development Program’s Under-18 squad, second on the team to No. 1-ranked European Skater Auston Matthews’ club record 55-62—117.
His father, Keith Tkachuk, played in 1,201 NHL games over 18 seasons with the Jets/Coyotes, Blues and Thrashers, registering career totals of 538-527—1,065. He is one of only four U.S.-born players to reach the 500-goal milestone (Mike Modano: 561, Jeremy Roenick: 513; Joe Mullen: 502).
Lists Penguins forward Sidney Crosby as his favorite NHL player and compares his style of play to Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk.
Tkachuk gained drive, desire watching dad
"If you don't give 100 percent every shift at the next level, you will be out of the League as quickly as you got there. My mindset is, every NHL player gives 110 percent and every really good NHL player gives it their all every shift. One of the things I've been working on this year is making sure that I'm first on every puck and winning every battle. It's the little things that will hopefully separate me at the next level." - Matthew Tkachuk