How Good is Hartikainen?

This is Teemu Hartikainen (#35, he’s just scored for Finland). In December, I ranked him as the #18 prospect in the system (the post is here). Next month (just before the draft) I’ll post a new list, and it’s certainly not telling anything out of school to say he’ll be moving up the list. Jonathan Willis has him ranked currently at #7, Hockey’s Future says he’s the 11th best prospect in the system.

When I wrote the Hartikainen item in December I posted his numbers at that time. Let’s list those numbers and then the remainder of the season:

  • 31gp, 7-1-8 .258
  • 20gp, 10-5-15 .750

That’s a nice split by any measure. He was -8 for the season (second worst on the team) but we also need to remember he’s a teeanger playing men up to twice his age. Oiler fans are as likely to overrate their own prospects as any, and lord knows the train seems to have left the station already on poor Linus Omark.

One of the real “tells” in observing prospects is how much they improve season over season. A player like Theo Peckham has improved every year since he was drafted, and we can say the same thing about many other quality Oiler prospects over the years. Teemu Hartikainen turned 19 earlier this month. If he can improve significantly again this winter the Oilers might be looking at an outstanding late round payoff from the 2008 Entry Draft.

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