Calgary Flames 19 days until the season starts: #19 Matthew Tkachuk

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 29: Matthew Tkachuk
CALGARY, AB - MARCH 29: Matthew Tkachuk /

Pre-season is just days away and the regular season is less than three weeks away! With 19 days until the regular season starts, let’s look at a Calgary Flames player with that number.

Since the start of August, we’re counting down the number of days left until the regular season starts up again! Every day until the start of the season, we’ll be talking about a Calgary Flames player whose number correlates with how many days there are left.

Last time, we talked about a player who recently retired. And while he may not have been the best player on the ice, he did a lot of work off the ice in the community that mattered more. That was Andrew Ference.

Today, with 19 days left until the regular season starts, let’s look at one of the youngest members on the Flames roster: #19 Matthew Tkachuk.

Related Story: 21 Days Until the Season Starts: #21 Andrew Ference

Who is Matthew Tkachuk?

Name: Matthew Tkachuk

Birthplace: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Position: LW

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1979-03-17

Height: 6’2” / 188 cm

Weight: 93 kg / 205 lbs

Drafted by: Calgary Flames, 6th overall 2016

Stats in the minors + with the Flames

Being the son of former NHL forward Keith Tkachuk, he had a big name to live up to. And he was already turning heads when he was just 16 years old. In the season before being drafted, he was playing with the London Knights of the OHL.

That season, the 2015-16 season, he had 107 points in 57 games. That was fifth in the league, right ahead of a Flames prospect, Andrew Mangiapane. He was also tied in the league in powerplay assists with 33, and he was tied with two other London Knights teammates whom he played on that first line with, Mitch Marner and Christian Dvorak.

In the middle of the season, he took a break to play with Team USA at the World Juniors. They won the Bronze medal that year. Tkachuk had four goals and 11 points in seven games.

Fast forward to later in the season where the London Knights were the OHL champions and they won the Memorial Cup. In the playoffs, he had 20 goals and 40 points in 18 playoff games. He came in second for points but led the league in playoff goals and also led in PIM with 42.

Then, what every kid playing hockey dreams of, he was drafted into the NHL. He was taken at that sixth overall pick by the Calgary Flames. And it didn’t take long at all for him to gel well with the team.

He signed a three-year ELC with the Flames and got the go-ahead that he’d be starting the season off with them. But don’t get too comfortable, because he still had a point to prove. Basically, after the ninth game, the Flames can choose to send him back down to the minors for the rest of the season, or they could have chosen to keep him up. They chose to give him a chance.

And boy did he prove himself.

On that tenth game, right after he got the go-ahead that he’d be staying up with the team, he proved they made the right decision. He scored two goals that night, one being the game winner that came less than five minutes left of the game. Actually, funnily enough, Marner also had his first NHL two-goal game that night and Dvorak also had a goal that game. Each of them were part of the three stars of the game that night. Wow, talk about teammate goals, hey?

Related Story: Talk about a tenth game for Matthew Tkachuk

Tkachuk established himself well on that second line alongside Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik – being dubbed the 3M line. They were easily the Calgary Flames’ most consistent line throughout the entire season when they were first paired together in late October.

Tkachuk also established himself well as kind of a bit of an annoying tick – similar to Brad Marchand. He can get under anyone’s skin. And you hate him if he isn’t on your team but love him if he is.

Next: Flames CEO Ken King holds presser about new arena deal

Let’s hope he continues to get under the skins of the other players.