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For Polarizing Talent Brady Tkachuk, Rewards Outweigh Risks


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It has to be tough to distinguish oneself as an elite skilled forward when your last name is synonymous with physicality, pugilism and abrasiveness. The good thing for Boston University power forward Brady Tkachuk, however, is that both his father Keith and older brother Matthew were able to prove that you can play like a nasty meanie while producing impressive point totals. Based on Brady?s play against quality teenage competition the last few seasons, there?s no reason why he won?t be able to do the same.


Looking at Tkachuk?s complete skill set makes it obvious why he?s considered to be a high draft selection. Although the love affair between NHL scouts and players who only offer size and strength appears to be souring, one can?t deny the importance of icing a lineup with several bigger players who can consistently chip in offensively. Mostly gone are the days of on-ice thuggery, and depth-line jobs that once were allocated to face-smashers are being given to quicker skill players.


Brady, much like the Tkachuks who preceded him in the NHL, can provide a coach with a bit of both. He?s an excellent stickhandler and plays with poise in the face of pressure. In other words, you rarely see him cough up the puck or pass it to a covered teammate to escape an aggressive opponent.


Tkachuk is one of the best 200-foot forwards among 2018 draft eligibles of any age. He can be used as the primary puck distributor on the power play, but is equally reliable during the penalty kill, where he is a threat to score shorthanded. His ability to weave around players keeps opponents honest in terms of how big a gap they?ll give him, but Tkachuk needs only a step or two to gain inside positioning and power his way to the net. Once he gets there, there?s no telling what kind of move he?ll pull out of his hat in order to fake the goalie out of position.






This is a really interesting read on Tkachuk that takes on his biggest criticisms, including questions/concerns about his scoring in college and his speed, among others.


Highly recommend you read it in it's entirety, because it's impossible to quote this properly.

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Good article.

I think one of the main issues when people are turning their noses up at Tkachuk based on his scoring at NCAA level is that there are some intangibles here that no SEAL score can properly account for. In essence, Tkatchuk played on a good but not great line in a very evenly matched competition. There's no way of knowing of course, but I don't think it's outlandish to assume Tkachuk would have put some serious points playing alongside Jack Hughes and Joel Farabee in the USDP, for instance. You just have to look at what he was able to do in the World Juniors alongside Mittelstadt and Poehling etc.

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Funny headline, "rewards outweigh risks'. The only risk is the same risk accompanying any high pick; that you passed on a much better player. Otherwise, he's not a risky pick, nor does he have concerning flaws in his game.


Anyway, I gave a little of my own personal scouting report (buried in that 25 page thread) since I've followed him for almost 2 years. Here are a few elements of his game that separate him from his stereotype.



Brady's skating is much better than dad and even bro. He has some finesse in tight spaces. He also has moves that leverage his skating and hockey IQ. He can fake a shot or hesitate and then accelerate into an inside/outside move to get a step on the Dman.


He can work the half wall, including on the PP, something none of his family does.


A very good passer with a very high hockey IQ. You listen to him and realize he hasn't come close to his potential. He is so cerebral and all-in that he hungrily works on the smallest details in expanding his game. He talks hockey on such a high level, it is apparent he grew up breathing the game kinda like Floyd Mayweather with Boxing, if you are familiar with his years between 2 and 22.


He is so mentally tough (growing up as the youngest) that he gets himself between the dots EVERY TIME he's on the ice and does not care what kind of abuse he takes. He believes that if he is not getting crosschecked in front he is doing something wrong. That's NHL net front play.


His body is gangling and he actually looks skinny. He looks like he may be bigger and stronger than Matthew eventually.


He puts himself AND the puck into dangerous areas constantly because he understands how good goaltending has become in the last decade or so.

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