The Calgary Flames went into tonight's 2016 NHL Entry Draft with the 6th overall pick in the 1st round. While a lot of mock drafts and speculation flew around social media in the last few weeks, I don't think anybody was prepared for what actually went down in Buffalo.
It was no surprise that the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Auston Matthews with their 1st overall pick and the Winnipeg Jets followed with Patrik Laine as the 2nd pick. The shock came when the Columbus Blue Jackets selected Pierre-Luc Dubois 3rd overall rather than selecting Jesse Puljujarvi. This meant the Edmonton Oilers ‘won the draft lottery' all over again and took the passed up Finn as their 4th pick. That pick was followed by another shock as the Vancouver Canucks selected Olli Juolevi 5th, leaving the door wide open for the Flames to select Matthew Tkachuk 6th from the London Knights.
So let's take a closer look at Matthew Tkachuk.
Matthew Tkachuk was born on December 11, 1997 in Scottsdale, Arizona and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri...(his Dad is Keith Tkachuk...ya, that Keith Tkachuk).
Tkachuk was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 Priority Selection by the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League and on May 8, 2015 he signed with the Knights which meant giving up his NCAA eligibility.
Tkachuk helped Team USA win Gold at the 2014 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Nova Scotia and also helped the US win a Gold Medal at the 2015 IIHF World U-18 Championships. He teamed up with Auston Matthews as they each scored 11 points in the 2016 IIHF World U-20 Championships to lead Team USA to a Bronze Medal.
Matthew was on a line with Mitchell Marner and Christian Dvorak this past season with the London Knights where he racked up 30 goals and 77 assists for 107 points in only 57 games. Tkachuk scored 20 goals and 20 assists for 40 points in 18 games as that same line helped the Knights run the table in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs and the Memorial Cup in Red Deer, Alberta where Tkachuk scored the overtime winner in the championship game.