The Buzzer: Tkachuk nets first, second NHL goals; Voracek goes off in five-point night

Three Stars

1. Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa Senators: Tkachuk scored his first and second NHL goals and recorded his first NHL assist in a 7-4 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers. His second goal, as you will see below, was exactly what the Senators wanted when the took the son of Keith fourth overall this past June. Seriously, watch that second goal below. Incredible shot.

2. Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers: Voracek’s performance played spoiler to Tkachuk’s breakout night. The Flyers forward had two goals and three assists for a five-point outing. Philly needed that win after getting crushed 8-2 on Tuesday by the San Jose Sharks. Not a bad rebound effort in the second half of a back-to-back.

3. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals: Kuznetsov kept clicking along in Washington’s 5-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final rematch on NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry. Kuznetsov opened the scoring in the first period on the power play and then played set up man on three of the Capitals’ next four goals in the game, including two nifty passes to Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Highlights of the night

While Tkachuk’s first NHL goal was about as anticlimactic as it gets, his second goal was nothing short of a beauty.

Kuznetsov and Ovechkin combined for this slick goal. the patience here is exquisite.

Factoids

Scores

Flyers 7, Senators 4

Capitals 5, Golden Knights 2

Coyotes 3, Ducks 2 (SO)


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Brady Tkachuk’s first NHL goal puts family in rare territory

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When a puck caromed off Brady Tkachuk‘s skate and into the Philadelphia Flyers net Wednesday night, the Ottawa Senators rookie etched his family name into some rare NHL history.

There have been several father-son duos to have played in the NHL, perhaps most notably Bobby and Brett Hull, who scored at will during their respective eras.

But in terms of fathers who had two sons play in the NHL, the list is small. Narrow it down to fathers who scored and had both their sons score NHL goals and, well, you get a handful of surnames.

Brady’s goal against the Flyers meant he, his brother Matthew (who plays for the Calgary Flames) and his retired father Keith, have all lit the lamp at the NHL level.

Few other families can make this claim.

Of course, the Howes are on the list. Gordie was one of the best to ever play the game, and his sons Mark and Marty also scored during their respective careers.

The Folignos, with father Mike and sons Nick and Marcus are another.

Peter, Paul and Yan Stastny have done it, too.

The Hextall family took this all one step further. Bryan Sr. scored a bevy of goals during his career while Bryan Jr., Dennis and even goaltender Ron (the Flyers general manager) have all found the scoresheet with a tick in the goal column.

The Patricks are the only family to have had a father (Lester), his sons (Lynn and Muzz) and his grandsons (Craig and Glenn) score in the NHL.

An honorable mention here as well to the Nolans. Ted and son Jordan have both scored in the NHL while son Brandon had one assist with the Carolina Hurricanes during his cup of coffee in the NHL.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Brady Tkachuk decides against returning to BU, will sign with Senators

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Decision Day has arrived for Brady Tkachuk and the 18-year-old, No. 4 overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft has decided to sign his entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators, per ESPN’s John Buccigross and multiple sources.

Now that Tkachuk has decided not to go back to Boston University for his sophomore season, the right move for the Senators should be to allow him to play the minimum of nine games and then send him to the Ontario Hockey League, where the London Knights own his rights. He’ll get to continue playing at a high level, be eligible to represent the U.S. at the 2019 World Junior Championship and the team doesn’t burn a year of his ELC. The American Hockey League is also an option, but only if the team feels he could make a return to the NHL club this season and they’re fine with him becoming a restricted free agent sooner than later.

Having Tkachuk around the 2018-19 Senators wouldn’t be the best for his development. The upcoming season is looking like another disaster and with the futures of Matt Duchene, Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone unresolved, and another high pick likely in the cards for next year’s draft, how would it be beneficial to have him around that? 

“The decision will be based on what’s best for my development short- and long-term,” Tkachuk said last month. “I want to have a long career and don’t want to go somewhere and not have an impact. I want to make an impact wherever I go and be able to contribute and play my best. Having both options is a great problem to have; they are two great spots.”

The only thing playing the full year would do to help Tkachuk is eat a year of his ELC and bring him closer to a contract extension as an RFA. So you can also see why the Senators and owner Eugene Melnyk wouldn’t want to splurge that early on a potential future core piece.

UPDATE: Tkachuk’s dad, Keith, confirmed the decision to NHL.com:

“We had Brady home this weekend and he decided to sign,” Keith Tkachuk said. “He is so emotional right now because he loves [Boston University] and his teammates. He’s such a great kid. He had the toughest call of his life calling Albie.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Brady Tkachuk on life at BU, 2018 NHL Draft, growing up with hockey (PHT Q&A)

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It was a pretty festive Thanksgiving for Brady Tkachuk, one of the top prospects in the 2018 NHL draft class. The Boston University forward was surrounded by hockey as his family joined their cousins, the Fitzgerald’s and Hayes’s, for a great turkey day.

Growing up with relatives that have played and currently play in the NHL has been a big benefit for the 18-year-old Tkachuk, who’s an early favorite to be selected in the top five picks next June. You can bet that while there was football on television and turkey on the table Thursday, plenty of hockey talk was going on.

“If I can absorb that from everybody, I would be really happy,” Tkachuk told PHT this week. “It’s kind of awesome because it’s an extra tool I get to use. I get to talk to people that have been through it. It’s definitely awesome to have.”

Tkachuk and his Terrier squad are off to a slow start (6-7-1) to the NCAA season and after winning two of their last three, they head to Madison Square Garden Saturday night for a “Red Hot Hockey” matchup against Cornell.

We spoke to Tkachuk about his time so far at BU, preparing for this season and beyond, and one day playing against his brother in the NHL.

Enjoy.

Q. How’s life at BU been treating you so far?

TKACHUK: “It’s been awesome. I got here in early July for some summer classes just to get used to the city feel and started working out here. But it’s been nothing but an awesome experience getting to meet a new group of guys in September. We’ve got a tight group. It’s been a lot of fun.”

How would you rate your start to the season so far?

“It’s been good. I wish we would have been playing a little bit better right now, but it’s been good. Team’s starting to really pick up past couple of weekends so it’s going to be an exciting couple of weeks ahead of us.”

You mentioned it’s been a tough start for team. Can you diagnose what’s behind the slow start?

“Not really, it’s just kind of about the bounces, but recently in the last couple of weekends we’ve been really playing as a team and as a unit. We’ve been keeping things simple.”

Your dad went to BU. Matt went the junior route. Why did you choose BU and feel the NCAA would be best for your development?

“They’re both great options but I chose BU because it was the best place for me to develop. It’s playing against men [and] the NHL’s full of men so I try to work on my skills here. We’ve got a great coaching staff, a great facility, so it was the best choice for me.”

There’s a lot of draft hype around you and where you might get selected in June. When those rankings come out do you pay any attention to them?

“Yeah, I see them on Twitter, but I try not to look too deep at them. I try to focus on everyday, try to get better. It’s still a ways away, so if I could just focus on becoming better everyday I’ll be happy about that.”

What are the biggest things you worked on in the off-season heading into this year?

“Definitely working on improving my skills and strength. I think that’s really important for everybody, especially myself, because you can never be satisfied with just being yourself. I always want to be better and try to get better every day. So if I can improve one part of my game it’ll just be the little things like tighter stick-handling. If I can do that, I’ll be happy.”

Your dad was one the game’s great power forwards. What kind of things has he told you about developing that strength?

“Just being around the net. Not a lot of guys like to go to the dirty areas. If I can make plays in there I can be successful. I kind of pride myself being around the net, tipping pucks, making plays in tight and try and give and go for my teammates.”

And what kind of advice has your dad and brother given you as you prepare to take this next step in your hockey career?

“Every time I talk to my dad he gives me two rules: compete everyday and be a good teammate. I try to take that and try to work my hardest to get better and work to help my teammates get better and be there to support the guys. My brother has taught me to be a professional every day — eat like one, work like one and treat your body like one and just be focused for everything I do.”

What do you think about Matt’s on-going feud with Drew Doughty?

“I think it’s kind of funny. It’s funny to see because it’s usually me and him going at it, so now seeing him go at it with another guy, it’s funny. They’re both obviously really good hockey players, so I just watch and see it on Twitter and everybody comes up to me the next day and is like, ‘did you see your brother?’”

Finally, the Benn brothers got into it on Tuesday night during their game. Are you looking forward to that day when it’s you and Matt going at it on the ice?

“Yeah, that would be a dream. I think my mom, too, especially would be really happy to see both of us on the same ice together. That’s definitely a big goal of mine and that would be awesome to accomplish our dreams.”

MORE PHT Q&A’s:
Rick Tocchet on Coyotes’ struggles, Clayton Keller, staying patient
Tyler Toffoli on Kings’ coaching change, celebrity encounters
Brian Gionta on NHL future, representing USA Hockey again
Paul Bissonnette on personality in hockey, transitioning to radio

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.