Daniel Tkaczuk was born in Toronto and played his major junior hockey Barrie Colts of the OHL. He had four standout years in the OHL and was drafted in the first round, 6th overall by the Calgary Flames in 1997. The centerman joined the Saint John Flames in 1999-2000 and was a productive player in the American Hockey League. He got his first NHL callup in 2000-01 with the Flames, playing in 19 games, scoring 4 goals and adding 7 assists for 11 points. In June of 2001 Tkaczuk was traded by the Calgary Flames along with goalie Fred Brathwaite, Sergei Varlamov and 9th round pick in the 2001 draft (Grant Jacobsen) to the St. Louis Blues for goalie Roman Turek and a 4th round pick in the 2001 draft (Igor Shastin). Daniel played the next two seasons in the AHL with the Worcester IceCats and Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 2003-04 he played in Europe with Lukko Rauma in Finland.