The 2016 National Junior Evaluation Camp is taking place this week in Plymouth, Michigan. One player that will not be taking part in on-ice activities will be Matthew Tkachuk, the No. 6 overall pick by the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL draft.
Tkachuk injured his ankle back in May when he was playing for the London Knights during their run to the Memorial Cup championship.
“Matthew Tkachuk is not going to participate on the ice during the camp,” said Jim Johansson USA Hockey’s assistant director of hockey operations (via NHL.com). “He’s here to be around the coaches and the players. We’re keeping him out of physical contact.”
Tkachuk doesn’t really need to prove himself to the Team USA decision makers at this camp anyway because his spot on the roster is pretty much a lock. He is one of the top prospects in hockey and was a key member of the 2016 USA World Junior team that won the Bronze Medal. He scored four goals in seven games during the tournament. He is coming off of a huge season with London that saw him score 30 goals and add 77 assists in 57 regular season games, as well as another 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists) in 18 playoff games.
The Flames added him to their already impressive collection of young forwards, one that includes Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett, at the June draft. He brings a mix of size, skill and a net-front presence that the others do not.
Tkachuk has already signed his entry level contract with the Flames and took part in the team’s development camp in July.