August 1, 2011

Tkachuk selected for U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Keith Tkachuk (Medford, Mass.) will be enshrined into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. (photo: Getty)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Keith Tkachuk (Medford, Mass.), a 19-year NHL veteran and part of a Bay State wave of impact players, was one of five people who will be enshrined as the United States Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2011, it was announced Monday by USA Hockey.

The five-member class, which also includes Chris Chelios, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Ed Snider and Gary Suter, will be formally installed into the Hall in Chicago this fall, with a date to be announced in the near future.

“It’s an extraordinary class,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. “The varied contributions to the landscape of hockey in our country is truly amazing and, collectively, this class has positively impacted every level of hockey.”

After being drafted 19th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, Tkachuk went on to play 19 seasons in the NHL and is one of only four American-born players to score 500 career NHL goals.

All totaled, the forward appeared in 1,201 games and recorded 1,065 points (538-527-1,065). Tkachuk made his NHL debut at the age of 19 and was named captain of the Jets by his second season with the team.

He broke the 50-goal barrier in back-to-back seasons (1995-97), in the midst of Winnipeg’s relocation to Phoenix. He recorded a career-high and NHL-leading 52 goals during the 1996-97 campaign with Phoenix, which also marked the first time an American-born player led the NHL in goals.

After 10 years with the Winnipeg/Phoenix organization, Tkachuk was traded to St. Louis, where he would eventually retire after nine seasons (2000-10) with the organization.

A five-time NHL All-Star and four-time Olympian (1992, 1998, 2002, 2006), Tkachuk played college hockey at Boston University (1990-91), and represented his country a total of eight times, including earning a silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame elected its first class in 1973. To date, there are 148 enshrined members in the Hall.