Flames' Matthew Tkachuk becomes first NHL player to release NFT

Calgary Flames' Matthew Tkachuk (19) celebrates a goal against the Winnipeg Jets during second period NHL qualifying round game action in Edmonton, on Tuesday August 4, 2020. (Jason Franson/CP)

Calgary Flames star Matthew Tkachuk has released his own officially minted non-fungible token (NFT) -- a unique digital art memorabilia item like the ones found on NBA Top Shot.

Tkachuk's NFT will be auctioned off with all proceeds from the sale being donated to the St. Louis Children's Hospital and the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. Along with the NFT, the original purchaser will also receive an autographed game-used stick, an autographed jersey and a post-game or virtual meet and greet with Tkachuk.

"It was an exciting opportunity, and for me to be able to pair it up with a charitable cause as well, in two charities and two hospitals -- the Alberta Childrens and St. Louis Childrens -- it was a no brainer for me to get involved," Tkachuk said in a video interview with Sportsnet's Ryan Leslie posted to his social channels.

The 23-year-old is the first NHL player to release an NFT, following in the footsteps of other major league athletes from the NFL, MLB and NBA.

Tkachuk's NFT was created by artist Greg Dubois. The auction will remain open until April 1 with the bid already higher than $5,000 at the time of publication.

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