Last night, Calgary Flames 2016 first round selection Matthew Tkachuk scored a goal in the Flames’ 4-3 victory over Buffalo. It was the latest in a line of first goals by Flames prospects that were developed and made the NHL roster.
How does Tkachuk’s goal stack up in the recent pantheon of firsts?
(Drafted sixth overall in 2016)
When: Oct. 18, 2016
Where: The Scotiabank Saddledome
The Opponent: Buffalo Sabres
Was It Sweet? Yeah, a nice wrister that beat Robin Lehner on the blocker side.
Was It Important? It tied the game, which the Flames won in overtime for their first win of the season. I’d say it was important.
(Drafted fourth overall in 2014)
When: Oct. 28, 2015 (first regular season goal)
Where: The Canadian Tire Centre
The Opponent: Ottawa Senators
Was It Sweet? It was pretty decent, a power play marker off a goal-mouth scramble.
Was It Important? It tied the game in a tumultuous third period in Ottawa that saw Jonas Hiller go down with an injury and the Flames blow a lead. They lost in extra time, but got a point.
(Drafted 104th overall in 2011)
When: April 13, 2014
Where: Rogers Arena
The Opponent: Vancouver Canucks
Was It Sweet? As sweet as scoring on the Canucks can be. And after three years of worrying about whether he would sign, it was neat to see Gaudreau finally in a Flames jersey.
Was It Important? Goodness, no. It was in Game 82. Neither team was close to the post-season.
(Drafted sixth overall in 2013)
When: Oct. 4, 2013
Where: Nationwide Arena
The Opponent: Columbus Blue Jackets
Was It Sweet? It was decent. In just his second game, the rookie got the game off to a nice start by going to the net.
Was It Important? It gave the Flames a lead in a game they ultimately won (for their first win of the season).
(Drafted 13th overall in 2011)
When: March 11, 2012
Where: Xcel Energy Center
The Opponent: Minnesota Wild
Was It Sweet? It was pretty decent, with Baertschi scoring off a rebound.
Was It Important? Well, the Flames won (and the goal kicked off Svensanity), but in the grand scheme of things they missed the playoffs and Baertschi’s emergency recall ended and they sent him back to junior.
Call be biased, but I think Tkachuk’s first goal was the nicest of this recent bunch. What do you think? Sound off in the comments!