Geek of the Week: Matthew Tkachuk

by Scott Maran on January 22, 2017

If you look past Matthews and Laine, another 2016 draftee has also been providing fantasy value.

We’ve looked at Auston Matthews. We’ve looked at Patrik Laine. Before the year started, everyone knew that these two players from the 2016 draft class would have the most potential to make the greatest impact in fantasy hockey this year. However, there’s been one other rookie who’s been providing a lot of value, and his name is Matthew Tkachuk.

It’s been a tumultuous season for the Calgary Flames. Entering the year, the Flames expected to do well with superstars Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan signed to fresh new contract extensions and a new pair of goalies brought in to help the team. Last season the Flames were plagued with terrible goaltending, but Chad Johnson and Brian Elliott were supposed to fix that. However, in their first 16 games, they only won five games and it appeared to be a very bleak season in Calgary. But in addition to the emergence of Chad Johnson, Matthew Tkachuk stepped up his game and became an integral part of the Flames’ forward group. Even though he wasn’t expected to make a big impact at the beginning of the year, Tkachuk has been turning plenty of heads with his impressive season.

Son of long-time NHLer Keith Tkachuk, Matthew was already a well-known prospect as he rose through the ranks in juniors. In his first season in the OHL with the London Knights, Tkachuk scored 30 goals and 77 assists in only 57 games while also leading his team to the OHL and Memorial Cup championship. With 20 goals and 20 assists in 18 playoff games, Tkachuk scored the most playoff goals in the entire league. However, he did all this while also playing a very gritty game that agitated his opponents and impressed the scouts. So when the Calgary Flames stepped up to the podium in June to make their selection with the sixth overall pick, it seemed like a no-brainer to select Tkachuk.

But for as much promise and potential that Tkachuk has, it wasn’t a given that he would start the season in the NHL, much less stick with the club and play all year. Yet Tkachuk adjusted to the rigors of the NHL very well quickly, going on a scoring streak that consisted of six points in seven games after the first three games of the season. Now with 29 points in 44 games, Tkachuk has been nothing but dynamite for the Flames. In mid-December Tkachuk went on a nine-game point streak and has 17 points in his last 18 games.

But for all his success, it’s come mostly as a surprise to poolies. Not many thought Tkachuk would be so successful so quick and it shows in his average draft position. In Fantrax leagues, Tkachuk was drafted on average with the 278th pick, while in Yahoo, he was selected 160th, right next to Dustin Brown and Dan Girardi. It’s no question that Tkachuk is severely outperforming his draft position, but how much value has he provided? Using our handy-dandy Fantasy Hockey Geek tool, we can figure that out. For our first sample league, we’ll being using an average 12-team H2H Yahoo league measuring G, A, PPP, SOG, Hits, W, SV%, GAA, and SO with this season’s stats.
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

ADP

G

A

SOG

PPP

Hits

Alex Pietrangelo

109

10

 

7

14

98

8

21

Mikael Granlund

110

9

 

10

27

87

10

25

Matthew Tkachuk

111

9

 

8

21

78

8

44

Sami Vatanen

112

9

 

2

15

61

11

50


Matthew Tkachuk hasn’t been dominating fantasy hockey in standard leagues like Patrik Laine or, to a lesser extent Auston Matthews, but he has been a very solid contributor. His shots on goal and hits are a bit weak, but his goal scoring should help in any type of format. His power-play points aren’t bad also, with eight on the season. But what happens if you have different categories in your league, like penalty minutes and plus/minus instead of shots on goal and hits?
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

ADP

G

A

=/-

PIM

PPP

Matthew Tkachuk

8

65

 

8

21

10

76

8

Dustin Byfuglien

9

64

 

7

21

1

68

7

Artemi Panarin

10

64

 

17

26

14

19

14


When penalty minutes and hits are counted, Matthew Tkachuk is actually the eighth-best skater in fantasy hockey! His Fantasy Hockey Geek value explodes when his high penalty minute totals and good plus/minus rating are factored in. Out of all skaters in the NHL, Tkachuk has the fourth-most penalty minutes, right behind Matt Martin and right in front of Zack Kassian and Mark Borowiecki.

Despite not getting the publicity that Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine get, Matthew Tkachuk has been just as impressive. His 76 penalty minutes are some of the most in the league, and he is the only person in the top five to have more than 20 points. But even if your league doesn’t count penalty minutes, Tkachuk will provide value with his knack for goal-scoring.

To identify more players with great value in your specific league settings, check out Fantasy Hockey Geek to generate custom rankings tailored for you. With the Season Toolkit, you can use our advanced tools to manage to the top and take down the title. Head to the Dobber Sports Shop and pick it up today!