And now, Matthew Tkachuk.
Calgary bolstered what was already a deeply talented — and young — group of forwards on Friday night, taking Tkachuk sixth overall at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
One of the key members of the Memorial Cup-winning London Knights, Tkachuk is the son of longtime NHLer Keith Tkachuk and considered to be a very strong prospect. He racked up 30 goals and a whopping 107 points in just 57 games this year, then piled up another 40 in 18 playoff games.
The move was a really nice turn of events for Calgary. Some thought Tkachuk would be off the board at No. 6, but he fell into the Flames’ lap after Vancouver went with d-man Olli Juolevi at No. 5.
In Calgary, Tkachuk should be a near-perfect fit.
The No. 2-ranked North American skater, he has good size — 6-foot-2, 200 pounds — and, like his dad, is a strong net-front presence with a knack for tipping home pucks. He’ll have plenty of talented playmakers to skate alongside in Calgary, and will bring a little more size and a little more sandpaper to the group.
Looking ahead, the Flames are pretty well-positioned for the future.
They’ve got good depth at forward and good depth on defense, which is why new head coach Glen Gulutzan said he saw great promise in the Flames, a “team that’s on the cusp.”