Former NHLer Keith Tkachuk was one of the best American-born talents to ever play in the NHL, and now son Matthew Tkachuk is well on his way toward following in his father's footsteps. The younger Tkachuk is 17 years old and is projected to go in the top five of the 2016 NHL Draft, and he looks like one of the best American prospects to watch come June.
On Thursday, Tkachuk helped his draft stock by putting up a strong performance in the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, scoring a goal and registering two assists in a losing effort for a team coached by one of Tkachuk's father's old pals, Jeremy Roenick.
The prospects game is a great way to expose draft picks to the best players in their age group in front of NHL scouts, so Tkachuk had a lot riding on the performance. And like father, like son, Tkachuk showed off both his skill and his fiery on-ice presence in a style of game that seems very similar to that of his father.
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"[My dad] has been a huge influence," Tkachuk told USA Today. "I look to him every time there is a problem and whenever there is something good to tell him. I tell him everything."
Tkachuk spent the past two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program, and he had a breakout season last year, posting 96 points in 65 games with the U.S. National U18 Team. Tkachuk originally committed to play college hockey at the University of Notre Dame (his father played for Boston University), but he decommitted, choosing to forgo his NCAA eligibility to play the coming season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League instead.
The Knights boast a lengthy list of NHL alums including Michael Del Zotto, Corey Perry, John Tavares and Patrick Kane, to name a few.
(h/t USA Today)