Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Koch SUPERU Player Profile: Ben Tkachuk

Ben Tkachuk

Koch SUPERU – Change the Way You Grow
Dave Leaderhouse

The Tkachuk name is familiar to most hockey fans with Matthew playing for the Calgary Flames and Brady toiling with the Ottawa Senators, but there is another player with the same surname making his mark in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

While not related, Ben Tkachuk has quickly become a key part of the Melfort Mustangs’ organization as the 18-year-old forward was the club’s leading goal scorer before the current season was put on pause due to the worldwide pandemic that has disrupted almost everything in 2020.

Born just down the road from Melfort in Gronlid, the 6-foot-0, 185-pound Tkachuk played all of his development hockey in Sherwood Park, Alta. Tkachuk had 20 points in 36 games in his final season of bantam hockey and then matched that total in just 24 games with the Sherwood Park Squires of the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League the following year.

As a 16-year-old, Tkachuk moved up to the Midget AAA level and in 33 games with the Sherwood Park Kings he scored six times and assisted on eight others. Tkachuk also got his first taste of Junior “A” hockey that season appearing in five games with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Although he was held off the scoresheet in that brief stint with the Saints it opened the door for him to make the jump to the next level and last season with Melfort he registered 21 points in 56 games, a performance that head coach and general manager Trevor Blevins says attracted plenty of attention.

“Ben had a breakout year as a 17-year-old in the SJHL,” says Blevins. “He has received attention from many NCAA Division 1 schools after a fantastic showing during his rookie year and in the SJ/MJ Showcase last season. He will look to build on his resume this season as he will play a significant role for the Melfort Mustangs in their forward group.”

Tkachuk responded accordingly to the added responsibilities and vote of confidence with three goals in the first five games this season and when the schedule resumes it is expected he will continue to be a major contributor to the Mustang offence.  And, with two more years of junior eligibility remaining after this season, Tkachuk will undoubtedly continue moving in the right direction to achieve his overall goal of securing a scholarship and prolonging his hockey future.