Will Matthew Tkachuk make the Flames this year?
Sam Bennett is surely hoping that Tkachuk stays up with the NHL squad for the 2016-17 season, and so are all of Calgary Flames fans as well. With Johnny Gaudreau still without a contract he has not played in the pre season, and Sean Monahan only played in the last game due to injury, this has opened up a door for Bennett, and Tkachuk to play 16:00 minutes plus per game, and they have taken full advantage of that. Playing on a line with veteran Troy Brouwer, Bennett, and Tkachuk have played great and developed chemistry already, they look like they can be point producers together for along time. It has been officially announced that Tkachuk will get at least 9 games this year for sure, as 10 games would count towards his rookie season, but I think once his 9 games are up he will have done enough to stick around for 73 more and play his rookie season with the Flames. When you look at the depth of the Flames wingers going into this season, and you put together a top 6 its very hard not to put Tkachuk in there when his competition is the likes of Shinkaruk, Chiasson, and Ferland. Plus with the chemistry that Sam Bennett, and Tkachuk are already showing it makes sense to have these two on the second line behind the already dynamic duo of Monahan, and Gaudreau. I think going into the season the Flames first line will be the obvious Gaudreau, and Monahan rounded out with Micheal Frolik, and then the second line will be Tkachuk, Bennett, and Brouwer. If Tkacuk gets top 6 minutes, as well as power play time he will have every opportunity as an 18 year old to have a 20 goal plus year for the Flames, and could be some good competition for the calder trophy at the end of the year as the leagues best rookie. Flames fans are already loving Tkachuk as he puts his 6,2 203 pound body to good use at every opportunity he can, getting into scrums, and fights with NHL veterans, and at 18 years old that is an exciting thing to see. He looks like one of the best, and most NHL ready rookies of this season, along with Matthews, Laine. The best thing about this young player is it is not just his big size that is going to keep him in the NHL, but also his goal scoring touch, proving he can already put the puck in the back of the net two times in four games (both on the power play). I am sure that Tkachuk won't have to wait long until he scores in the regular season if he is playing top 6 minutes with Bennett who had 3 assists in the preseason, and Brouwer who had a goal, and an assist as well. The Flames future is looking very good with Gaudreau, and Monahan of course, but also with their new other dynamic duo in Tkachuk, and Bennett. So yes, the Flames should absolutely 100% keep Tkachuk for his full rookie season, as that is likely going to be the best move for their season, as well as his future as he looks like he is NHL ready, and could use the experience to develop into an NHL star even faster.
P.S, tomorrow I am going to the Flames Red Rally and I am so excited to meet some of the players! Last year I went and got to meet Giordano, Ferland, Russell, Frolik, Backlund, Bennett, Dougie Hamilton, Jonas Hiller, Engelland, and Bollig! This year I really wanted to meet Johnny hockey of course but since he likely won't be there I really want to meet Monahan and, or Tkachuk for sure, and hopefully Ferland again as I want to replicate a selfie I took with him last year.