Matthew Tkachuk pumps up his draft stock: ‘People want winners’

No doubt about, the line of Matthew Tkachuk, Mitch Marner and Christian Dvorak drove the London Knights to a 2016 Memorial Cup victory … and Tkachuk knows many in the hockey world were watching.

While plenty of people asked about his experiences growing up as Keith Tkachuk’s son as draft prospects met with the media in San Jose, the elite 2016 NHL Draft prospect seemed to know that his own successes are a big selling point.

“People want winners and I was fortunate enough to be on a winning team,” Tkachuk said. “I think a lot of people like that.”

As much as impressive point totals matter, responding to “clutch situations” means a lot as well. Tkachuk checked off both boxes, and that can really help to boost his credentials in many eyes.

It’s something Elliotte Friedman noted in a recent edition of “30 Thoughts.”

Matthew Tkachuk is “gaining momentum,” as one executive put it, days after the London Knight bulled his way through the Memorial Cup. You know the NHL’s preoccupation with skilled power forwards, and he certainly qualifies.

Conventional wisdom is Auston Matthews goes first to Toronto, with Patrik Laine following to Winnipeg. I think we all expected Jesse Puljujarvi to go third, but it sure sounds like Tkachuk is pushing his way into the picture.

Here are some highlights from that 2016 Memorial Cup win:

As interesting as his upbringing may be – including getting to know the likes of David Backes while growing up in NHL locker rooms – teams really care about what he can do on the ice. And he’s acquitted himself quite nicely.

While Tkachuk isn’t providing draft bulletin board material like Patrik Laine, he doesn’t seem shy about emphasizing his selling points as a prospect: hockey IQ, a willingness to go to dirty areas to score goals and of course … winning.

Now, let’s all take a step back and admire that photo of Tkachuk with Lanny McDonald’s big, winning mouth seemingly preparing to eat him.

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