Keith Matthew Tkachuk (pronounced /kəˈtʃʌk/; born March 28, 1972) is an American former professional ice hockey player of Ukrainian origin who played for four teams and three franchises in his 19-year career. He is one of only four American-born players to score 500 goals.
Tkachuk began his hockey career at Malden Catholic High School in Malden, Massachusetts. Tkachuk played collegiate hockey at Boston University, was a member of the U.S. National Junior team in 1991 and 1992, and a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1992. He was drafted in the first round (19th overall) in the 1990 entry draft by the Winnipeg Jets who acquired the pick from the Buffalo Sabres in the deal that sent Dale Hawerchuk to Buffalo. Tkachuk played as Center, Left Winger and Right Winger in his career.
Tkachuk has earned the nickname "Walt" (given to him by Eddie Olczyk), possibly in reference to Walter Tkaczuk, a star center who played for the New York Rangers from 1967 to 1981. The two players' last names are pronounced similarly but spelled differently, and the two men are not related to each other. With his great play in front of the net, St. Louis Blues broadcasters and fans dubbed the name "Big Walt" as well from this name.