Hartikainen Hot

This is Teemu Hartikainen (in OKC uniform). He scored his 13th goal of the season this evening and has enjoyed a strong run (16gp, 6-10-16 +7) since 10 December.

For those of us who cheer like demons for the Finns, this has to be regarded as very good news. Hartikainen is reaching the point where we can begin to talk about his as a legit callup option. I mentioned #35 as a possible option here and he’s been posting numbers since that day.

How can we judge an AHL 20-year old in terms of future role? Well a lot of it has to do with size, strength and position. However, there are some things we can learn from the past that might give us clues about the future. In the middle of the 07-08 season I looked at the AHL rookies (here) and specifically the 20-year olds. Included in the group were kids like Bobby Ryan, Bryan Little, Nick Foligno, Gilbert Brule and others. Vic Ferrari’s 1/1 rule is a tough nut to crack but it is a very nice tell for the future.

So where does Hartikainen rank in a group in which we’re familiar? What do his numbers tell us compared to other Oilers AHL rookies who played at 20? Here’s a quick list:

  1. Rob Schremp (06-07 SWB Penguins) 69gp, 17-36-53 .768ppg
  2. Jarret Stoll (02-03 Hamilton Bulldogs) 76gp, 21-33-54 .711ppg
  3. Marc Pouliot (05-06 Hamilton Bulldogs) 65gp, 15-30-45 .692ppg
  4. Jean Francois Jacques (05-06 Hamilton Bulldogs) 65gp, 24-20-44 .677ppg
  5. Teemu Hartikainen (10-11 OKC Barons) 42gp, 13-14-27 .643ppg
  6. Kyle Brodziak (04-05 Edmonton Roadrunners) 56gp, 6-26-32 .571ppg
  7. Jani Rita (01-02 Hamilton Bulldgos) 76gp, 25-17-42 .553ppg
  8. Slava Trukhno (07-08 Springfield Falcons) 64gp, 14-21-35 .547ppg
  9. Ryan O’Marra (07-08 Springfield Falcons) 31gp, 2-7-9 .290ppg
  10. Zack Stortini (05-06 Iowa/Milwaukee) 64gp, 2-8-10 .156ppg

What does it mean? First, Hartikainen’s season has a long way to go and he should improve that number. Second, his PP numbers (6-2-8) are probably stronger than a few others on this list so his EV number won’t be as impressive as implied here. I think it comes down to how much he can post the rest of this season.

If he can keep rolling as he has since mid-December, Hartikainen will be right at the top of the list of possible callups after the deadline, along with Ryan O’Marra, Shawn Belle and Alex Plante. The kid has a shot at making the show and no matter what happens from here I’d say he’s covered his draft bet.

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