Phoenix Coyotes Preseason Countdown: 7 Days

Christian Petersen

With only 7 days left until preseason begins we look at the first captain the Phoenix Coyotes had in the in the desert, number 7 Keith Tkachuk.

Originally drafted 19th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1990 Entry Level Draft, Keith Tkachuck made his NHL debut with the Jets on February 28th, 1992. His time with the Jets frequently saw him leading the team in goals, points, power play goals, etc. as well as being named team captain from 1994-95.

When the Jets relocated to Phoenix in 1996, Tkachuck was reinstated as captain and had one the best years of his career, scoring 52 goals and his first trip to the NHL All-Star Game. Tkachuk would lead the team in goals and points for the next two seasons along with being picked for the All-Star game two more times. He was also selected to be on the cover of NHL Breakaway ’98 in 1997. The Phoenix Coyotes would ultimately trade Tkachuk to the Blues in 2001 for Ladislav Nagy, Michal Handzus, Jeff Taffe and a first round pick which ultimately ended up being Ben Eager.

Tkachuk finished his career with the Blues, although he had a brief stint with the Atlanta Thrashers where he played 18 games in the 2006-07 season. Injuries were a problem during his time with the Blues, but he scored over 20 goals six times during his eight full seasons with the Blues. He finished his career after playing in 1,201 games where he totaled 538 goals, 527 assists, 1,065 points and 2,219 penalty minutes.

After he retired, the Coyotes honored Tkachuk by retiring his number into the Ring of Honor on December 23, 2011. He still holds the team record for most goals in a season and most points in a season while being 3rd among all time Coyotes players for goals scored and fifth for points. He is also remembered as the player who best epitomizes American players in the Coyotes history.

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