Flames sign first-rounder Tkachuk to entry-level deal

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Calgary was thrilled to land Matthew Tkachuk with the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft, and it wasted little time locking him in.

On Thursday, the Flames announced Tkachuk has signed his three-year, entry-level deal. Per General Fanger, it carries a $925,000 cap hit and a $1.775M average annual value.

Tkachuk, 18, is coming off a stellar junior season in which he helped the OHL’s London Knights capture the Memorial Cup. The son of longtime NHLer Keith Tkachuk, he’s considered to be a very strong prospect and racked up 30 goals and a whopping 107 points in just 57 games this year, then piled up another 40 in 18 playoff games.

Shortly after selecting Tkachuk, Flames president Brian Burke spoke highly of the club’s newest young talent.

“Kid’s a kind of pain in the ass,” said Burke, per the Calgary Herald. “We don’t have enough guys who are pains in the ass. And the way I like to play, I like guys who are pains in the ass.

“So, I thought that was a real important pick for us.”

Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see where Tkachuk starts next season. There will undoubtedly be temptation within the Flames organization to have him start the year in Calgary, as he can play nine NHL games before burning the first year of his entry-level deal.

Tkachuk would be a compelling addition to a gifted forward group that includes fellow youngsters Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett — and it’s worth noting the latter two debuted in their draft years.

Tkachuk goes 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, so he’s got big-league size. He’s also on record saying his goal is to make the team this fall.

“It’s to make an impact and try to make the Calgary Flames,” he said, per NHL.com. “It’s everybody’s goal, to try to turn some heads and make themselves known around the organization, the management, the coaching staff, and try to give yourself the best shot at making the team.”

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