The Flames sign Matthew Tkachuk to an entry-level deal


The Calgary Flames made it official today, announcing the signing of 2016 sixth overall selection Matthew Tkachuk to an entry-level contract. Based on his age and the terms of the CBA, it’ll be a three-year entry-level deal (which can slide twice if he doesn’t play 10 NHL games in either of the first two seasons).

Terms of the deal weren’t announced, but here’s the general line of thinking here:

  • 2011 sixth overall pick Mika Zibanejad signed for a $925,000 base salary with $850,000 in performance bonuses.
  • 2012 sixth overall pick Hampus Lindholm signed for a $925,000 base salary with $850,000 in performance bonuses.
  • 2013 sixth overall pick Sean Monahan signed for a $925,000 base salary with $850,000 in performance bonuses.
  • 2014 sixth overall pick Jake Virtanen signed for $925,000 base salary with $850,000 in performance bonuses.
  • 2015 sixth overall pick Pavel Zacha signed for $925,000 base salary with $850,000 in performance bonuses.

So we don’t know for sure, but it’s exceedingly likely that Tkachuk’s deal has a $925,000 base salary with $850,000 in performance bonuses. If that’s the case, the deal will carry a $1.775 million maximum cap hit. For what it’s worth, Cap Friendly currently thinks Tkachuk’s contract will be in this range.

The son of longtime NHLer Keith Tkachuk, Matthew lit up the Ontario Hockey League last season with the London Knights as one-third of Canadian junior hockey’s most dominant line (along with Arizona draftee Christian Dvorak and Toronto pick Mitch Marner). He had 107 points, good enough for fifth in the OHL (just ahead of fellow Flames pick Andrew Mangiapane), and scored the game-winning overtime goal to captured the Memorial Cup.

Now he’s signed to a shiny new NHL deal. Next stop? Flames training camp in September, where he’ll do his best to crack the NHL roster.

        • The Fall

          Bennett looked pretty good against Vancouver in the playoffs, but was out of his depth for a large part of last season. Monahan is an outlier. Fact is, teenagers do poorly in the NHL.

          I would love to see Tkachuck dominate next year on the Knights with less talented line mates. It will give him time to mature.

          The most successful teams are slower with their draft picks. Flames will be extremely young next year; those players are already in very important roles. Adding an 18 year old is reckless.

      • Stud Puffin

        Who would you play instead? Ferland on 3LW would work, but I still see a gaping hole on the rw side. Maybe Shinkaruk will grab it. Otherwise who better than Tkachuk? Give alternatives.

        • The Fall

          Gaudreau 22 – Monahan 21 – Brouwer 30

          Bouma 26 – Backlund 26 – Frolik 28

          Ferland 24 – Bennett 20 – Chiasson 25

          (AHL) – Stajan 32 – Pribyl 23

          Perhaps you can give alternate examples of 18 year old rookies who didn’t regress hard versus 20 year old rookies…?

          Alternately, Janko 21 makes the team and Bennett plays wing. Or Hunter 21 makes the team. Or Porier 21 makes the team.

          I’m sure this will get all the Trashes, but it’s our team.

        • Baceda

          We’re not talking about filling holes in the roster here though, it’s more about whether Thackuk would be better served maturing more in the minors or jumping straight into the NHL.
          Don’t throw him in just because you see a hole at 3LW or 2RW. Hes far too important a prospect to treat like that

      • Jake the Snail

        No, so Tkachuk can follow in the footsteps of Monahan and Gaudreau!

        If he works hard and shows well at the Penticton tournament and training camp he can make the team, even if it is for a 9 game trial. Better him that Lyndon Vey!

          • Jake the Snail

            And small in stature playing against men in the NHL for the first time.

            Monahan was able to take over duties as the Flames first line Centre when the Flames ran into injury problems at Centre at 18/19?

          • The Fall

            Yeah, Monahan was great, but he has an outlier. He was also extremely sheltered on a team of vets.

            Rolling draft picks into the league year after year is McTavish logic.

          • Avalain

            Well, no, putting draft picks into the league in critical roles while the rest of the team isn’t ready year after year is McTavish logic.

            When you get right down to it, I want to see Tkachuk make the NHL immediately and thrive. Then I want him to progress from there. I don’t want to him to be pushed into the league before he is ready, but instead I want him to actually be ready.

  • DoubleDIon

    I’d take a wait and see with Tkachuk. If he isn’t good enough to deserve a spot in the top 9 I’d send him back to junior. If he is then give him 9 games and assess it.

  • DoubleDIon

    I know this thread isn’t about this, but what would people think of Brandon Pirri as an addition?

    Was reading an interesting blog post today and I’d never really thought about him as an option. He’s a left shot so that’s not ideal, but he could be a nice trigger man on the top line for a year or two until better options emerge.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ufa-bargain-bin-four-players-analytics-identify-value-adds/

    • Baalzamon

      I have time for Pirri as a player, but I’m not sure adding him would be more beneficial than promoting someone, say Shinkaruk, to the NHL.

      I think I’d rather the Flames used the last of their cap space to re-sign Jooris (and Monahan and Gaudreau). That said, I wouldn’t be bothered by a contract for Pirri.

      • DoubleDIon

        I tend to agree. What really shocked me about the article was the way he both drives play and is 13th in the NHL in goals per 60. I wouldn’t have thought he was either of those things. He’s ahead of guys like Tavares, Malkin, Neal, Marchand and Parise in goals per 60.

        I always thought of him as a 2nd/3rd liner tweener. The data says he’s a bit more than that.

  • The Sultan

    I suppose there’s some merit in sending Tkachuk back to the OHL; after all, the last thing we want to do is rush unready prospects into the NHL and ruin their development, a la our rivals to the North the Edmonton Oilers.

    However, the whole reason the Calgary Flames coveted/drafted Matthew Tkachuk, and even considered trading up to put themselves in a better position to draft him, was that he was exactly what the team so sorely needed — a gritty, grinding forward with a championship pedigree, who wasn’t afraid to stand up for his teammates, and above all else, had NHL-ready size. And that’s not to mention a whole summer ahead of him training and consulting with professionals and dietitians who will best guide his progress and development.

    Thing with Tkachuk is, this is nothing really new to him; his dad is a legit NHL All-Star, Hall of Famer, and Matthew has probably had access to this kind of opportunity all his life. He’s been groomed for this.

    Now, since the AHL is out of the question because of his age, would returning him to junior really be best for his development? Like the article said, he had 107 points last season, stepped it up to an entirely different level during the playoffs (you know, during the games that actually matter) and even scored the game-winning goal to cap off a championship season. He’s be 19 in December, he’ll probably be 200+ pounds come training camp, and if he addresses his weaknesses like he has already committed to doing, namely his skating, I firmly believe Matthew Tkachuk will at least be on the opening night roster and be given his chance to sink or swim.

    • Baalzamon

      Sending him back to the OHL wouldn’t be detrimental. Given that Dvorak and Marner will both be gone, he’ll be the top dog.

      Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl both scored over 100 points when they were drafted, and they didn’t have the dynamic linemates Tkachuk did. Both of them needed another year of junior.

  • Hockeyfan

    kid will be good and of course he will want t start in the show. He will get his 9 games, hopefully hehas what Gulu likes to make it stick. i would like to see Janko make the jump for good this year.

    Gaudreau 22 – Monahan 21 – Chiasson

    Janko – Bennett – brower

    Ferland 24 – Backs – frolik

    Shink – Stajan 32 – vey/tchachuk

    Trash away, but please offer other ideas.

    • freethe flames

      At first I was going to ignore this line up but decided to take a look at it anyways.

      While at first look having Chiasson on the first line seems extremely unlikely there is some merit to it. He’s a bit of a mucker, has had some success at scoring, and maybe GG knows his triggers and can get him going again.

      line two: I like the pairing of Bennett and Brouwer but suspect if TKachuk makes the team that is where he might fit.

      line 3: sounds like a really solid line and may help Ferland find his game at both ends of the ice.(it would not surprise me if Bouma gets another look with Backs and Frolik) but I personally favor Ferland getting a chance their.(this is also a place where Shinkaruk might fit)

      line 4: This line is always problematic for me as I really think Stajan’s game has dropped off significantly and would prefer him not to be a regular. So how about Shinkaruk/Janko/Bouma.

      The problem with this lineup is how many ? marks there are. With the signing of Vey I see 3 reclamation projects in him, Chiasson and Bouma. All could have bounce back years or all could be busts again. A number of key spots that need to be filled by rookies and I would rather see that than by vets whose best days seem well behind them. Only time will tell.

      One issue is that because of the world cup the auditions for the rw spot with Johnny and Monny will be put on hold.

    • Hubcap1

      Gaudreau Monahan Brouwer

      Shinkaruk Bennett Frolic

      Tkachuk Backlund Pribyl/Chiasson

      Ferland Stajan Chiasson

      Bouma Hamilton/Vey

      Other possibilities: Porier, Hathaway, Jankowski, Bolig, Trade, Signing.

  • Nick24

    Before calling whether or not he belong in the OHL, how about we wait and see what he’s ready for come the fall? I’m not against him going back to Junior, but if he’s ready for the NHL there is no reason to send him back to London.

    • The Fall

      This is backward logic. Every draft pick should be assumed to be at least two years from the NHL. There will only be one or two per class, maybe, that break this rule.

      • Nick24

        I don’t think that’s true with top 10 picks. You expect those guys to be on the team within two years. Heck, I think there were 5 or 6 player out of the 2013 Draft that played the next season.
        If he’s ready great if not he goes back. Why would you make this call in July when hockey starts in October?

        • The Fall

          You don’t make this call in July. You make this call 36 years ago and then thrive. People call this a copy cat league, but it’s more of a knee jerk league: short term judgement calls based with very little evidence based decision making. If anyone was actually copying the best teams’ strategies, I think the Red Wings playoff streak (25 years) would be the go to model. They simply don’t let draft pick play for a couple years.

          It needs to be systemic within the franchise: a paradigm, not just about the individual player.

  • RKD

    Smart signing, he was put on a line with Matthews and Marner and scored a huge OT goal for his London Knights in the Memorial Cup. He’s still very young and will need some time for his body to fill out but I think he can be a good player. He’s a gamer.