Why does everyone keep saying he is a lock to play in the NHL this season? The kid had 8 goals last year in college. EIGHT. I get he has other elements to his game, and I not doubting that he will be a good NHL player, but there is no reason to rush him to the NHL when this team is going to be dreadful.
Am I the only one who thinks it might be a good idea to NOT see him in the NHL in 2018-19? Let him tear it up in the OHL or AHL and then give him a spot on the top line when Stone leaves.
As someone who follows the NCAA college hockey scene closely, I don't see anything in his game that shouts "NHL Rookie of the Year" in 18-19.
I look at it, and I see Casey Mittelstadt might be a comparable, but he at least played his age 18-19 year in college, and scored 30 point in 34 games (Tkachuk had 31 in 40 games).
No offense, but it feels like you're asking Joshua Norris (19th overall in 2017 by San Jose) to come in and play in your middle six. That guy had eight goals last year, too, and NO ONE is talking about him playing in the AHL in 2018-19, let alone the NHL.
Or how about Montreal's Ryan Poehling, who had 14 goals and 31 points in 37 games at St. Cloud last year as a freshman. He's part of an organization that HAS NO CENETERMEN, and yet he still isn't an "NHL player."
(I know offensive numbers aren't everything).
Let the kid develop...
You had me on board until the comparables. Those are not comparable players, and not comparable franchises. Mid first round picks are rarely, if ever expected to play in the AHL or NHL the year following being drafted. Top 5 picks are very frequently at least given the chance to show what they can do. The San Jose comparison is laughable, they're nowhere close to being as short on talent as Ottawa is. Conversely, MTL is almost in the same position as Ottawa, but Poehling and Tkachuk are extremely different players. Tkachuk is tough enough and skilled enough to play in the NHL right now. Not sayign he'd put up huge numbers, but somewhere in the 30-35 pts range would not be out of the question IMO.
Have to agree he's definitely not a lock in the NHL this year. To me, it's all about where he plays. If Ottawa keeps the trend of playing the young guys in bottom six roles, please God do not have Tkachuk in NHL. That would be an absolute waster. But, if he's consistently going to play beside Duchene or Stone in a top-six role, I'm all for it. He needs to be getting 15+ mins a night to make it worth him playing in the NHL. Personally, I'd love to see one of three things:
A) Plays his 9 games in the NHL to start the year, then goes and tears it up in London.
B) Plays until Christmas, goes to the WJC, and finishes the year in London
C) Play him in the NHL throughout the year, and if they ever want to play him in a bottom six role, send him down to play top minutes in the AHL.
I think he's ready to play now, but it has to be in the right circumstances.