TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 6: TYLER PITLICK

It is time for our annual discussion about Tyler Pitlick. When we last left the conversation, I was saying this blog will be the last outpost to give up on him—while acknowledging that the injury history and stalled offense made it probable he would not return. Incredibly, both Pitlick and the Oilers are willing to risk another winter on each other—and from the team point of view there are some good reasons for the investment.

TYLER PITLICK 14-15

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.58
  • 5×4 points per 60: 0.00
  • Qual Comp: 16th toughest competition among all forwards (fourth line)
  • Qual Team: 11th best teammates among all forwards (fourth line)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 50.4%
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: 9.9
  • Zone Start: 40.2%
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 18 shots/11.1%
  • Boxcars: 17GP, 2-0-2 .118
  • (All numbers via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and BehindtheNet.ca)

This is Pitlick in the NHL in 2014-15, showing a reasonable possession number (very small sample size) and an inability to take advantage of the weak opponent offensively. Team game of course, but you would like that number to be stronger (5×5/60) based on opponent.

PITLICK PER 82 AHL GAMES: 12-24-36

bakersfield rw

These are Prospects Stats numbers, and Pitlick—when healthy—outperformed a rather tame group of offensive wingers. If we add Taylor Beck, things take on a slightly different view:

beck depth chart

Pitlick’s offensive numbers are not far from Beck, and I believe both men will be in the mix for NHL time in 2016-17. One reason Beck could end up playing more than Pitlick? Injury. It is a major factor whenever we discuss this player.

 TYLER PITLICK BAKERSFIELD RE: 40GP, 10-10-20 .500

TYLER PITLICK NHL RE 16-17: 10GP, 1-0-1

  1. What will his role be in Bakersfield? He will play 2 or 3line, but he does have offensive ability at this level. Last season, among those men who played RW some or all of the time, the estimated Primary points-per-60: Tyler Pitlick (1.906), Andrew Miller (1.814), Matt Ford (1.71), Anton Slepyshev (1.502), Greg Chase (1.439).
  2. Where do you project him on the depth chart? For me, the non-NHL depth chart is about even between Pitlick, Taylor Beck and Iiro Pakarinen. The possibility exists that all three will be pushed to Bakersfield by Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Jesse Puljujarvi and Zack Kassian. Anton Slepyshev can push all of the AHL crew down the depth chart if he plays as many believe he can.
  3. What has changed since his draft day? Pitlick turned pro in 2011 fall, one year after he was drafted. Since then, he has played (combined leagues) 62, 44, 49, 31 and 37 games in total over those five seasons. Injuries have been such a big part of his career it is really impossible to project him as a player.
  4. What does Pitlick need to work on? Staying healthy and being consistent. Pitlick has a nice range of skills and if he could just plant an entire year we might be talking about the future with some confidence.
  5. What one thing will get Pitlick to the NHL? I think he needs to prove that there is some offense in his game and that he can stay healthy, while also playing his physical style.
  6. Anything else? Two things: He always looked like an NHL player to me, and if you count the number of men who emerged this season from the 2010 draft perhaps there is still hope. Among those who did are Alex Petrovic, Calvin Pickard, Oscar Lindberg, Stephen Johns, Bryan Rust, Joonas Donskoi and others. Maybe there is hope for Pitlick, too.
  7. What will keep him out of the NHL? Two things: Injury and an inability to score. He left junior with some ammo (22 even-strength goals in Medicine Hat) but hasn’t been seen since.
  8. What does his coach say? Gerry Fleming: When ‘Pitter’ is at his best, he’s on loose pucks, he’s moving his feet, he’s protecting the puck, he’s going to the net. The biggest part of his game is his physicality. He hits like a train, and when he’s hitting and starting and stopping on pucks, he’s an effective player. I think he’s starting to grasp the concept of the way he has to play in order to be effective and that’s using his speed on the outside, protecting the puck, and bringing it to the net. It comes back to his physicality. When he’s finishing his checks, being physical in front of the net, and winning battles in the corners, he can help the team and be an asset.” Source

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29 Responses to "TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 6: TYLER PITLICK"

  1. Woodguy says:

    Anyone who shit talks Stu for this pick should be immediately tagged as a Monday morning quarterback who has no clue as to the verbal and the rankings at the time.

    PItlick was the highest rated player on McKenzie’s list who dropped out of the first round.

    Everyone was happy when the OIlers took him, even those who never had a kind thing to say (correctly) about the Oilers at the time like Derek Zona.

  2. BONVIE says:

    I think Pitlick is likely to make this team, to fill out our bottom 6 we need players that won’t get killed on goal differential. Pitlick has the skating for the forechecking to start the cycle, and for the back check. I think Pitlick, Beck, and JJ are in and hopefully Yak, Pak, and Letetsu are out.

  3. Bobbyoiler says:

    I hope he stays healthy, He would be great in that bottom 6 role!!!

  4. Woogie63 says:

    Cheering for Pitlick and Musil!

  5. lynn says:

    I hope Tyler Pitlick has one injury-free pro season. There may be some magic in that circumstance.

    Pitlick and Khaira were a good duo for Bakersfield near the end of last season, then Pitlick met another injury.

    Pitlick and Khaira may be members of the Oilers’ fourth line in the near future–good puck skills, good skaters, youthful, economical.

  6. Richard S.S. says:

    Tyler Pitlick (24) is reported at 6’0″ 202, and is a Right-shot Centre.
    Connor (19) reported 6’1″ 190 (L);
    Ryan (22) reported 6’0″ 189 (L);
    Leon (20) reported 6’1″ 214 (L):
    Mark (30) reported 5’10” 197 (R);
    Anton (24) reported 6’0″ 184 (L).

    I don’t know what determines who will make it and who won’t. You can be an “ideal hockey player” in all ways and still not be a success. Development must play a part in every step of the way.

    When did the Oilers finally buy their own minor league teams? When you let someone else train your players, how do you know they are doing it right? Development must play a part in every step of the way, you just have to know how.

    Tyler has had how many GMs and Managers in his career? How many had the idea that a player should “show” where he belongs? Development must play a part in every step of the way. Some players are developed better than others. How many GMs and Managers don’t know how? Don’t you need four lines that can score?

  7. Lowetide says:

    Richard: Oilers started loaning out players (iirc) after the 2004-05 season (Edmonton Roadrunners)
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0035912005.html

    Kyle Brodziak and others went to the Iowa Stars
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0039882006.html

    A large number went to the Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0007912006.html

    2006-07 saw a bunch play with the Scranton Wilkes Barre Penguins
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0019802007.html

    2007-08 things were back to mostly normal with the Springfield Falcons
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0003042008.html

  8. flyfish1168 says:

    I was a happy camper when the Oilers picked him up. I watch him and Etem play with the Tigers a few times. Tyler was noticeable stronger than the other players on the ice during puck battles. Unfortunately even the one year with the Tigers he had injury problems.

  9. Mr DeBakey says:

    Richard S.S.: Tyler Pitlick (24) is reported at 6’0″ 202, and is a Right-shot Centre.

    Pitlick hasn’t played significant minutes at Center since he was drafted.
    He’s a winger.
    He was projected as such.

    Woodguy: Anyone who shit talks Stu for this pick should be immediately tagged as a Monday morning quarterback

    This is correct, except
    the rebuilding Oilers, with 4 picks in the first two rounds, took 3 wingers [including Pitlick] and one Defenseman.
    One could argue that a competent organization would have reversed those numbers.

  10. Richard S.S. says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    Yes, but http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=123515 someone didn’t get the news.

    How about taking the best player available 4 times?

  11. Clay says:

    I loved that 2010 second round, it just didn’t turn out as planned.

    Who would’ve thought Pitlick would outlast Hall as an Oiler from that draft?

  12. Woodguy says:

    Mr DeBakey: Pitlick hasn’t played significant minutes at Center since he was drafted.
    He’s a winger.
    He was projected as such.

    This is correct, except
    the rebuilding Oilers, with 4 picks in the first two rounds, took 3 wingers [including Pitlick] and one Defenseman.
    One could argue that a competent organization would have reversed those numbers.

    That’s fair.

  13. Richard S.S. says:

    Lowetide,

    So Player Development didn’t get any better?

    Some players need little help as they are that good.
    Some players need instruction on changes to get better and become the success they are/will be. Some will never get it or develop as they should.
    The rest need more help, continuous help, to be successful and don’t always get it.

    Even with the Oilers less than competent way of drafting, more should have made the NHL. Even a blind squirrel finds the nuts.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Mr DeBakey,

    How about taking the best player available 4 times?

    This is not possible. Seriously.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Lowetide,

    So Player Development didn’t get any better?

    Some players need little help as they are that good.
    Some players need instruction on changes to get better and become the success they are/will be.Some will never get it or develop as they should.
    The rest need more help, continuous help, to be successful and don’t always get it.

    Even with the Oilers less than competent way of drafting, more should have made the NHL.Even a blind squirrel finds the nuts.

    They did. Kyle Brodziak. Traded him.

  16. unca miltie says:

    Pitlick is my favorite Condor. Really hope he makes the big club this time. He can skate, hit, make and take a pass. Time for some good fortune in his career. Glad the Oilers resigned him.

  17. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide: They did. Kyle Brodziak. Traded him.

    LT
    Wasn’t Pilick one of a number of Oiler draft picks that were sent to the AHL prematurely rather than given their overage year in junior? In his case another year of junior would have allowed his body to mature and possibly he would not have sustained as many injuries . I believe drafting has been only part of the problem as stated, with development also a large part of the lack of success!

  18. OilClog says:

    Hall, Nuge, Yak, all consensus #1

    Klef, great pick
    Ebs, great pick
    MPS fell to the Oilers if memory serves correct
    Pitlick was a damn steal at the time
    Nurse, defender, probably wrong one though.

    Competent organizations don’t trade their Jeff Petrys for a 2nd and a handclap

  19. JDï™ says:

    pts2pndr: Wasn’t Pilick one of a number of Oiler draft picks that were sent to the AHL prematurely

    Geez – they either rush them to the NHL, or rush them to the AHL, huh? Considering the rules for players drafted from the CHL, I’m not sure that it’s possible to rush players into the AHL, but I guess those pesky Oilers could find a way, couldn’t they?

    His draft +1 year was spent in the WHL.

    He then played next season with the Barons, for 62 out of 76 regular season games, and 13 playoff games. I’m not sure where to find injury reports for the AHL, but he seemed to play most of the games possible for that season.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=123515

    I guess the RE artist should have been Rush…

  20. SwedishPoster says:

    Pitlick has all the basic structure of a hockey player in place, everything looks like it’s there at first glance, he truly looks like an NHL player. The doubts about his ability take a while to creep up. While having a pretty good shot and showing at least decent hands I haven’t seen anything to suggest any kind of offense at the NHL level. He’s not afraid to shoot the puck but rarely from good spots and I haven’t seen any vision or ability to make plays in the O-zone. Now I realize his AHL numbers aren’t terrible and once he is healthy long enough to feel comfortable he might show a little more offensively but thus far I’ve almost seen more offense from Gazdic and that ain’t good.
    Another thing that has me doubting his chances is that while hardworking and physical he hasn’t really shown great defensive awareness in the neutral and defensive zone, he is good on the forecheck, a limited offensive player need to be stellar defensively to be useful imo. I’m not a fan of the pure “energy players”, thing of the past if you ask me(and noone did). Again this could be something that would get better if he was healthy long enough to feel comfortable but from what I’ve seen so far he needs to be much better on the defensive side of the puck if he’s to be a useful player in the bottom six.

    I hope he can be more than the “run around and skate/hit like a madman for 6-8 minutes a game” player he has looked like to my eye and if he can stay healthy for a longer period of time he might be able to. Even if he doesn’t improve much I think he’ll keep getting chances for quite a while longer, as long as he can stay healthy, NHL people loves the player type. Doubt he’ll stick anywhere for longer spells unless there’s improvement in the above areas though.

  21. Woodguy says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Can I bother you to translate this article? (or at least the juicy bits?)

    Ola Winther ‏@OlaWinther
    Talked with Klefbom who likes the Larsson-trade: “Hall never played his best games against the tough teams”: http://dlvr.it/LwY7kd #Oilers

  22. Woodguy says:

    Here’s google translate’s kick at the cat:

    Following the successful autumn evolved Oscar Klefboms last year’s season into a real horror. For hockeysverige.se he tells of the nasty injury, egoboosten during the absence and why Adam Larsson make Edmonton a better team than Taylor Hall did.
    – Hall was never at its best in those matches, where he was most needed, says the Swede.

    Everything had gone by train during the season start. Oscar Klefbom excelled at Edmonton’s blue line and showed that he possessed the potential of all Oilers fans had hoped for. Then came the nightmare. A nightmare that began with a broken finger against the New York Rangers in early December – and resulted in a horror magnificent Christmas celebration.
    – I had a little redness in the leg at one skate in the autumn, but it felt like we had it completely under control. As long as I played and skate pressed against the foot was no problem.
    – After I broke a finger against the Rangers and had to be at the side of the ice one week it became much worse. On Christmas Day, the foot swelled up and became big as an orange, so then it was just to go to the emergency room, says Vermlander for hockeysverige.se.

    Photo: Getty Images

    While in the hospital, it was found that Klefbom affected by an infection with staphylococci. An infection that did not want to give in, gave the Swede big trouble and ultimately ended his season prematurely.
    – It can apparently be quite dangerous. I had to lie inside the drip and antibiotics, but in the end the doctors took the decision that it was best to operate. They wanted to remove the infected skin cells and fluid from the wound. Nevertheless, it was no better and in the end they had to do a second operation as well, which they took away more infected parts.
    – When the wound healed up since I did not get the foot in the skate. I did everything I could to come back and play the last ten matches, but when we had a chance at the playoffs, we took the decision that there was no point taking chances. There was nothing to gain by playing more, says Oilers defenseman.

    Was it extra frustrating to go on this damage considering how good you started the season?
    – It was a bit typical. It was exactly the same when I played for Färjestad and was forced to end the season early 2012-2013. I had known it for two years and started taking big strides and then destroyed just everything.
    – It really felt like everything was on rails and was fine. Why did this damage as a real punch in the face. But now it’s on the other side just to be positive and reload.

    What is your status now?
    – It feels good. The infection has healed Super, although I have a big ugly scar. I have been in Montreal and fixed custom-made skates since I tried not been good since the operations.
    – Now I have had a good summer of training, where I trained a lot with Jonas Brodin and Marcus Johansson, so now I go into this season of 100% and really want to play games.
    “ADAM makes us a better team”

    The light in the darkness for Klefbom during the analysis time was that his importance to Edmonton proved more clearly than ever. The team performed markedly worse without his Swedish backkugge on the ice – which gave 23-year-old is proof that he is on the right path.
    – It is clear that you never want to see your team lose, but the difference was from when I was with made me feel proud of my role. It was very flattering when you read the media and fans write that “now we see Klefboms greatness”.
    – There were even many who thought that I was needed more than McDavid, who was injured at the same time. It is clear that it gave my ego a boost.

    Photo: Getty Images

    Vermlander will now stay at home in Karlstad and prepare for the season for a few more weeks. In late August, he puts himself on a plane to Edmonton, where he can get a compatriot as a neighbor.
    – I talked to Adam (Larsson), which is now in Edmonton. He’ll check the apartment in the same house as I live, so it may be that we are neighbors. It would be perfect – because then we can go together to practices and games, says Klefbom.

    In Canada trejden who took Adam to Edmonton in exchange for Taylor Hall kristiserats. What do you think about it?
    – I think the team has improved. We already have so many promising forwards and we did not really have a peak reverse is rightare. I also think Adam gets a real breakthrough this year and hopefully I get the chance to play with him and forming chemistry.
    – At the same time, I understand the reactions. Taylor has been our best player in recent years, but it’s also hard to tell what he has contributed. He never played his best games against the tougher teams, which we really needed it. However, he was fantastic when we met the little worse law.
    – Now it is simply up to other promising Forwards Hall and Draisaitl to tap-dance up and prove themselves even more. It will be exciting to see.

    In Edmonton the same scenario repeated again and again in recent years. Optimism has flowed for the season – when it was thought that this is the year when all the young stars to take the team back to the playoffs – and each year it has also stopped in a new failure. When the team is now moving into new spectacular Rogers Place believes, however Klefbom on a trend reversal.
    – We have received important players like Adam and Milan Lucic. Lucic is otherwise exactly the kind of player we need – a player who can create space for others.
    – If we can also get to have McDavid healthy all season and all the other rises a notch, I think this will be really good, concludes Vermlander – which itself will be one of the most important pieces in the Oilers lagpussel.

  23. Woodguy says:

    Even though it won’t translate “lagpussel”, I think it means puzzle specifically in the context of a team based on google images of that word.

  24. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy,

    That article would have been better is if Klefbom had given “its” responses to them in English, which they then translated into Swedish before Google translated them back.

    Thanks for posting that.

  25. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy:
    SwedishPoster,

    Can I bother you to translate this article? (or at least the juicy bits?)

    Ola Winther ‏@OlaWinther
    Talked with Klefbom who likes the Larsson-trade: “Hall never played his best games against the tough teams”: http://dlvr.it/LwY7kd#Oilers

    Seconded. Wowsa.

  26. Centre of attention says:

    That Klefbom interview seems like the Yak Interview where he said he was slightly misquoted. I’d be careful to read too much into quotes taken over seas.

    “he’s been our best player in recent seasons”

    “doesn’t play his best games against the tough teams”

    At least slightly contradictory quotes, no? I would like to know if there was some context taken out of them. I think the entire Oilers team struggled against the tough match ups, including Hall some nights. Just my opinion though.

  27. Chachi says:

    If what is meant by “tough teams” is the “best teams” then the logic in the statement is fairly solid given that the best teams are the best teams because they can shut down the best players on the teams they play against. Nothing particularly controversial about Oscar’s statement even if it wasn’t misquoted.

  28. Pouzar says:

    Klef is the Cancer!

  29. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Woodguy:
    Anyone who shit talks Stu for this pick should be immediately tagged as a Monday morning quarterback who has no clue as to the verbal and the rankings at the time.

    PItlick was the highest rated player on McKenzie’s list who dropped out of the first round.

    Everyone was happy when the OIlers took him, even those who never had a kind thing to say (correctly) about the Oilers at the time like Derek Zona.

    Well said.

    I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Pitlick so far, but it’s just never been sustained. His goal in Phoenix was a beaut. That whole game, actually, he played like a reckless freight train.

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