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What makes Matthew Tkachuk such a great player

You’d have to go back to 2016 to see Matthew Tkachuk’s NHL debut. As Betway Insider has shown, Tkachuk has been a key player for the Calgary Flames ever since. This has especially been the case when you consider the ongoing rivalry between the Flames and the Edmonton Oilers. 

What Tkachuk has shown over the last few seasons is that he is a force to be reckoned with. He is a player who has become a valuable asset to his team and one that his coach would not want to be without. This saw him, in 2019, signing a deal worth $21 million to stay with the Flames. What is it about this player that makes him stand out and what is it that sees him command $7 million a year? Let’s take a look.

How Tkachuk broke through

The reality is that Tkachuk should never have, in terms of logic, made it into the Flames team. It was back in 2016 that the Flames were spending big. They had little interest in unknowns taking to the ice. It was a time when they were signing the likes of Brouwer, alongside who Tkachuk was effectively a no one. For him to stand any chance of progressing from the training camp and into the team, he had to outshine everyone else around him.

That is exactly what he ended up doing. During the training camp, Tkachuk proved his worth and found himself in the first team. 

Tkachuk became an offensive threat

The fact that Tkachuk broke through into a team that was full of such greats ultimately allowed him to develop into the player that we all know today. Given that he was playing directly alongside veterans and greats, he was able to build his confidence off the puck. He could play knowing that he had Backlund and Frolik to back him up and to help with any defensive mistakes.

Having the time to build this confidence allowed Tkachuk to become perhaps the best offensive presence in any top-flight team. What you see with Tkachuk is a confidence that is unrivalled. This confidence is one that strikes fear into opponents as he runs. 

Rough and tumble

There is no disputing that Tkachuk possesses the skills that are needed. Of course, it is these skills that see him being regarded as one of the finest players in the NHL. Another quality that he holds though, is that he is not afraid to get stuck in and face the rough and tumble.

While some may see this rough and tumble as a bit of an issue (it has, at times, seen him land in trouble), it makes him a more rounded player. He possesses the technical skills, but these are complemented by the ‘let’s get stuck in’ attitude. He has been described as a player who is able to pull in those around him. This means that his own teammates are more likely to play with the same attitude, along with the ability to physically engage.