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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44 Responses to "How Good is Hartikainen?"

  1. PDO says:

    And he’s not even a midget!

    Would be nice….

  2. gogliano says:

    He received rookie of the year in the SM-Liiga, didn’t he?

  3. Coach pb9617 says:

    I looked at Hartikainen’s season here and looked towards next year here. That was a special season and he is in the midst of significant company

    I’ve got him at #3 on the prospect list, but my scale is a bit different than others.

  4. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT: through your comments section, I landed a Finnish contact who is going to do some translation on the articles I linked to in my entries and some other stuff.

    It’s probably all fluff, but there might be a few interesting things in there.

  5. Coach pb9617 says:

    One more thing on young Teemu: he led the Finns in scoring at the WJC with 3 goals and 6 assists in 6 games. His 9 points were 5 better than the next two guys. He was also a team-leading +4 and managed 22 SOG in those 6 games.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Coach: That’s terrific stuff, thanks for posting links. I visit your site everyday, but missed it.

    Agreed on Hartikainen at the WJ’s, which is a better judge of where he is right now. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of role he has on the Finnish team at Christmastime.

  7. Black Dog says:

    This past draft might end up being a decent one. I really like Motin and of course there’s this youngster, Eberle and Cornet who had a nice year.

    Be nice if they finally started getting it together in Europe.

  8. Coach pb9617 says:

    Thanks LT. I’m really high on this kid. His 18 year season puts him in some rare air. JW is right – if he has sustain this year, some heads are going to turn.

    There are a number of prospects bubbling under right now that came from deep in the draft.

  9. PunjabiOil says:

    If we’re going to apply the ”he got a bulk of his points against weak teams” for Omark, it is vital to acknowledge that Hartikainen had a 5 point game against the powerhouse Kazakhstan which grossly inflated his stats.

    Tournament of small sample sizes it is.

    His last half of the regular season is encouraging however.

    Lowetide, what are your thoughts on Kyntar?

  10. Coach pb9617 says:

    If we’re going to apply the ”he got a bulk of his points against weak teams” for Omark, it is vital to acknowledge that Hartikainen had a 5 point game against the powerhouse Kazakhstan which grossly inflated his stats.

    Take away that game from him and no one else and he’s still tied for the team’s leading scorer.

  11. Lowetide says:

    I think the Oilers will sign Kytnar, he’s certainly worth an entry level deal imo. He’s going to need some time in the minors and he’s never going to be a big scorer, but he had terrific splits:

    35gp, 9-16-25
    30gp, 18-21-39

    And although his plus minus wasn’t impressive (8th among forwards) it wasn’t terrible either. And I still think EDM should draft Travis Toomey.

  12. PunjabiOil says:

    This thread inspired me to scan over the Oilers drafting from 1990 – 2000

    Allison, Wright, Hulbig, Stajduhar, Bonsignore, Kelly, Devereaux, Riesen, Henrich, Rita, Mikhnov all busts.

    The only 1st round pick to turn out in those years was Ryan Smyth.

    What a debacle of monumental proportions.

    The Prendergast era has fared better, but there have been poor years (2002, 2003, 2004) and no pick in 2006. The Hemsky pick was solid, as was Cogliano. I’m leery to give them too much credit for taking Gagner at 6th overall. Nash seemed like a good pick, but they should have done better with the 15th overall pick. Eberle at 22nd seems like a good pick. Conclusion: average 1st round drafting, with potential or a higher revised mark in future.

    This is a big year. The Oilers need to generate a quality, high-end player with the 10th overall pick this year. No excuses.

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    Can anyone tell me why they passed on Doan back in 1995, who clearly posted better numbers in his draft year?

  14. Lowetide says:

    John Short told me he asked Barry Fraser how much difference there was between Doan and Kelly and Fraser responded by spacing his thumb and forefinger barely apart.

    The question after that of course is with all of the people at Northlands chanting “DOAN!” why wouldn’t you take the hometown favorite?

    But I’ve read since all the Oiler scouts agreed on Kelly.

    btw, the Hemsky pick was inspired, not solid.

  15. Schitzo says:

    The scouting staff has been funny the last 6-7 years. First rounders haven’t been anything beyond average, but we’ve done extremely well in the rounds after that.

    And man, having a real job makes it tougher to keep up on blogs.

  16. Lowetide says:

    I think the Oilers have done well in the first round since 2001:

    2001-Hemsky: beauty
    2002-Niinimaki: bust
    2003-Pouliot: injuries, but hes an NHL player
    2004-Dubnyk, Schremp: still some hope for the goalie.
    2005-Cogliano: nice player
    2006-None.
    2007-Gagner, Plante, Nash.

    9 first rounders, with Hemsky leading the way followed by Gagner and Cogliano. One lottery pick, several in the teens and several more we don’t have an answer on yet.

    I’ll agree that Niinimaki was a blunder, and Schremp didn’t turn out. But then again he was highly rated at the time.

    How would these 9 first rounders compare to other NHL teams who have drafted in similar slots?

  17. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @LT

    Well, since you asked, how about Vancouver?

    In the same time frame:

    R.J Umberger
    Ryan Kesler
    Kevin Bieksa
    Cory Schneider
    Luc Bordon
    Mason Raymond
    Jannick Hansen
    Nathan McIver
    Michael Grabner

    All have at bats in the Major Leagues.

    Game, set, match

  18. Lowetide says:

    FCM: Why do people always do this stuff knowing they haven’t followed the rules? Is it so I’ll do the damn work?

    I already have kids.

    Okay, the original questions I asked was “How would these 9 first rounders compare to other NHL teams who have drafted in similar slots?”

    So we’re looking at 1st rounders since 2001.

    Here’s Vancouver:

    2001-RJ Umberger: Quality, Hemsky’s better.
    2002-None.
    2003-Kesler: Well clear of Pouliot and that’s for sure.
    2004-Schneider: Quality goalie prospect, but like Dubnyk he’s not an NHL player yet.
    2005-Bourdon: Touchy subject, but we’ll give Cogliano the win here.
    2006-Michael Grabner: 142 AHL games and counting.
    2007-Patrick White: Not getting the feeling he’s going to amount to much.

    Now we can agree that the Oilers have Hemsky as an established, quality player and two very good young players in Gagner and Cogliano. Pouliot is a contributor and we’re going to hold out hope for Dubnyk.

    Vancouver has enjoyed 6 picks in that time, and Kesler is the best of them. Umbarger is also quality, and we should mention Luc Bourdon in there too. Schneider has an outstanding resume building as well.

    If there was a draft of all of the players mentioned, who would you pick first overall?

    Hemsky? Kesler? Gagner? Umbarger? Cogliano? Schneider?

    I don’t think it’s game, set or match.

  19. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @LT

    Kesler

  20. Schitzo says:

    LT: I give the scouting staff a lot of credit for Hemsky and Cogs. Gagner, not so much – at 6th overall, you’d better get a quality prospect.

    So 2 years out of 6 they overachieved, 1 year they did what they should have, and 3 years they underachieved. That’s decidedly average.

  21. Lowetide says:

    FCM: Kesler over Hemsky? Gagner? Wow.

  22. PunjabiOil says:

    2003-Pouliot: injuries, but hes an NHL playerI agree he’s an NHL player.

    Just not an impact one. Which hurts, given this was arguably the deepest draft in the NHL in decades, and literally every team obtained one.

    Numbers suggested the Oilers draft the BPA – Parise. Lowe went for the foolish theory to draft for need. Just an awful mistake. I don’t think it’s any doubt we’re a playoff team if Parise is sporting Copper and Blue. I have a strong feeling we’re going to make the same mistake again this year by not drafting Jordon Schoerder.

    In addition, as YK Oil has pointed out, the Oilers either:

    a) Didn’t get enough for moving down in 2003
    b) Gave up too much in 2007 for moving down.

    2002 was batshit crazy too. Under what grounds did the Oilers select a 70th ish overall European ranked skater with their 15th overall pick? It’s too bad they traded down with Higgins available.

    As for the Vancouver analysis, we’re missing Cody Hodgson.

    In my opinion, the results indicate average. Just like Kevin Lowe’s Edmonton Oilers for the past 10 years.

    Hopefully this Steve Tambellini character is different.

  23. Mark-Ryan says:

    I’m a little late to the party, but it should be said that Saskatoon relied on Milan Kytnar for a lot of the big time defensive situations and was named the teams best defensive forward. I wouldn’t be too concerned with +/- in his case. Team obviously wasn’t.

    I also kind of hope his teammate, Burke Gallimore, who was a titan when Kytnar played on his line, gets a look from the Oilers in the late rounds. He’s a guy who could slip deep into round 5 who showed some promise in the games I watched.

  24. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    FCM: Kesler over Hemsky? Gagner? Wow.

    24 years old.

    Selke nominee.

    26-33-59 +8

    Speed, grit, PK, PP, plays any forward position

    QC .04 QT -.03

    GFON/60- 2.68
    GAON/60 – 2.35

    Less offense than Hemsky but defense isn’t even a contest.

    Players tougher competition with inferior linemates, outscores them, kills penalties

    Think Horcoff with hands and grit.

    Gagner isn’t even in the conversation but might be some day if he finds another gear and learns to play defense and kill penalties.

  25. PunjabiOil says:

    Philadelphia:2000 (28) – Justin Williams
    2001 (27) – Jeff Woywitka
    2002 (04) – Joni Pitkanen
    2003 (11) – Jeff Carter
    2003 (24) – Mike Richards
    2004 – No pick
    2005 (29) – Steve Downie
    2006 (22) – Claude Giroux
    2007 (02) – James Van Riemsdyk (Philly knows how to tank properly too – see, Penner, Dustin)
    2008 (19) – Luca Sbisa

    Ottawa2000 (21st) – Anton Volchenkov
    2001 (23rd) – Tim Gleason
    2002 (16th) – Jakub Klepis
    2003 (29th) – Patrick Eaves
    2004 (23rd) – Andrej Meszaros
    2005 (9th) – Brian Lee
    2006 (28th) – Nick Foligno
    2007 (29th) – Jim O’Brien (solid numbers in WHL)
    2008 (15th) – Erik Karlsson

    Seems to me there are other teams in the league that generate players, despite normally lower draft picks.

    There’s certainly room for improvement from the Oilers drafting standpoint.

  26. PunjabiOil says:

    I’m a Pouliot fan too LT, and he is an NHL player. I do think you’re overrating him a bit though. There were plenty of nights he took off last year, which resulted him being a healthy scratch 19 games. Personally I like Brodziak better, who was putting up solid numbers despite playing a bulk of time on the 4th line.

    Kid has potential of being a 3rd liner – there’s also potential he’ll carve a similar career to Boyd Devereaux, chipping in 15-20 points on what is otherwise an annual basis.

    On another note…

    While looking through the Oilers stats – Denis Grebeshkov +12. Wow. Gilbert was +6, as was Visnovsky. Horcoff had a nice year at EV, going +7 (Don’t let the HF clowns get a hold of that). I will expect Penner to bounce back next year.

    It would be nice to get Jagr this season though. The Oilers are an extended injury to Hemsky away from being a playoff outcast.

    Moving one of Moreau or Pisani (preferably Moreau as Pisani will likely sign at a discount in his next contract which ends after this season) and retaining Kotalik at ~2.5M would be prudent. I hope that Tambellini has enough distance from the Old Boys Club to do such a deal.

  27. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @ LT

    And BTW LT, if you move your goalposts back one year to encompass a full ten year period, the Canucks drafted Sedin X 2 in 1999.

    Does that violate the rules of engagement?

  28. oliver says:

    “The only 1st round pick to turn out in those years was Ryan Smyth.”
    Just curious, and only because I’ve noticed this same oversight repeated over time: Any particular reason why people tend to forget about Arnott?

  29. uni says:

    And BTW LT, if you move your goalposts back one year to encompass a full ten year period, the Canucks drafted Sedin X 2 in 1999.

    Does that violate the rules of engagement?

    I would think when you draft that high overall on a year that isn’t absolute shite (and with the exception of the Doan year the 6th overall drafts were close enough to that) you’re going to get two impact players.

    I still can’t understand how Chi-town traded their pick for McCabe then flipped him for Karpotsev and a 4th a season later.

  30. dstaples says:

    LT:

    Prendergast’s team of scouts is under-rated.

    With one of the top two picks in the draft, you’ve got about a 66 per cent chance of getting a star.

    But the Oil have never had such a pick and the odds of landing a sar falls off — very fast — after that.

    Draft third or fourth, that chance of getting a star drops to one in three players.

    And still the drop in the odds continues. . .

    Draft tenth, you have a one in ten chance of getting a star.

    Draft at the bottom of the first round, you have a roughly one in twenty chance of getting a star.

    So the Oil did very well with the Gagner pick, where they had roughly a one of four chance of getting a star, and hit a tape-measure home run with the Hemsky pick, where they had less than a one in ten chance of getting a star, but they got one.

    With Cogliano, the Oiles also did extremely well, as the odds on that pick were in one in twenty territory for a star player.

    Let’s say all Gagner becomes a star, while Cogs becomes a good player.

    That’s two stars and one, maybe two or three NHL players (Dubnyk? Pouliot? Eberle? Nash? Plante?) out of nine first round picks, only one of the picks reasonably high.

    Work out the odds of getting such good value out of all of those picks, and I’d say this scouting department has done to a good enough job, maybe even better than that.

  31. Traktor says:

    “Draft at the bottom of the first round, you have a roughly one in twenty chance of getting a star.

    So the Oil did very well with the Gagner pick, where they had roughly a one of four chance of getting a star”

    Saying Edmonton did well with the Gagner pick would be like you saying you did well to sleep with a super model when you were trapped on an Island with her – no skill required.

    Both Gagner and Jakub Voracek fell on Edmonton’s lap like a drunk girl passed out at a party and it can be argued that Edmonton went home with the wrong one.

  32. 40oz says:

    Comparing drafts with other teams is much easier on the brain if you avoid the 03 draft. Its amazing how one draft could set back a team so much.

  33. uni says:

    Saying Edmonton did well with the Gagner pick would be like you saying you did well to sleep with a super model when you were trapped on an Island with her – no skill required.

    Both Gagner and Jakub Voracek fell on Edmonton’s lap like a drunk girl passed out at a party and it can be argued that Edmonton went home with the wrong one.

    While an amusing analogy, I doubt that closing the deal with the supermodel would be the slam dunk you make it out to be.

    I do, however, agree that less credit should be given to the Oilers for Gagner since it was a consensus pick of either Gagner or Voracek. Also the quality/depth of the draft year class factors in heavily to this. To say that there is an absolute slam dunk at 6th overall though is very inaccurate looking at the 6th overall picks going back 10 years:

    Daniel Tkaczuk
    Rico Fata
    Brian Finley
    Scott Hartnell
    Mikko Koivu
    Scottie Upshall
    Milan Michalek
    Al Montoya
    Gilbert Brule
    Derick Brassard

    The first two didn’t cover the bet, and I’m a bit pleased to see Calgary come up snakebit on 6th overall picks like the Oilers. I think it’s fairly safe to say that Montoya isn’t going to cover as well, and that Finley has maybe an outside shot at best. Brule looks to be a player but fringe. So that’s 5 players out of 10, and it remains to be seen how good they’ll all be eventually compared to Gagner.

    Koivu is a 1st line centre though, and Hartnell looks to be money after some seasoning, with Michalek as solid 2nd line material and Brassard knocking on the door. Here’s hoping Gagner carves out a Damphousse or better career and I’ll call it a win.

    That’s not to mention all the misses over the last 10 years within the top 6 picks.

  34. dstaples says:

    If things were so easy that year, well, how about the Kings taking Hickey? And Turris is a huge question mark?
    Van Riemsdyk and Alzner are not sure things, either.

    It’s easy to screw up in life, or to go sideways, especially when the competition is fierce.

    It’s hard to get it right.

    They got it right with Gagner, IMO, so I give them credit, even if they got a bit lucky. Perhaps that good luck balances out bad luck at other times.

  35. quain says:

    Comparing draft classes between teams is a fool’s errand. There are so many moving parts when it comes to making a good pick that judging in hindsight is pretty bloody difficult, even for a team you follow every single day, much less the comparison team you’re less familiar with… even the success of each pick is subjective:

    Schremp: Almost certainly a bust, but he was the 25th pick… he was an obvious boom or bust pick and he busted, is he a failure? Or was the risk and possible reward worthwhile at the position?

    Pouliot: He’s going to have a career, maybe not a laudable one or a fifteen year one, but he’s going to get a lot of games. Sounds like something close to a success to me… but a good portion of the players picked around him are elites now… but he was injured, so do we blame the Oilers for that failure, or is it just the dice? You can find fifteen different answers.

    There aren’t a lot of black and white, cut and dry grabs out there. We can’t give Schremp a numerical rating, compare him to Vancouver’s picks, and nod our heads in sage agreement.

    I’m glad you try to figure this out, LT, but trying to come to a consensus when a portion of your readership thinks that something as objective as GFON/60 is witchcraft is going to be difficult.

  36. dawgbone says:

    The Oilers did not draft for need with Pouliot… they had several players that they liked at that spot, and New Jersey gave them the option to both pick one of them and add an extra good pick in the draft.

    So while part of their hesitation with picking Parise was that he was yet another small forward, the other part was that there were a couple of guys who were close on their list.

  37. pboy says:

    I've always felt that the best way to decide on a winner in a trade is to try and figure which of the teams would do the trade over again or would one of the teams like to take a mulligan. Usually a couple of years need to pass before they can be truly judged;

    The Lindros – Forsberg trade looked like a clear cut winner for Philly but after a couple of years of perspective, there is no way Philly would make that same trade.

    FCM, are you really saying that Kesler > Hemsky & Gagner? So if you woke up tomorrow and saw that Kesler was dealt for Hemsky and Gagner on the cover of the Sun, you would be happy with that?

    Hemsky & Gagner for Kesler would be a bad trade and I don't think anyone needs a few years perspective to be able to say that.

  38. digger says:

    Speaking of the 2008 draft, Johan Motin just signed a 3 yr entry level deal today with the Oilers.

  39. Quinn says:

    Comparing draft classes between teams is a fool’s errand. There are so many moving parts when it comes to making a good pick that judging in hindsight is pretty bloody difficult.

    Good comment. I think drafting hockey players is analogous to shooting a moving target while riding a horse at full gallop in the opposite direction. The further you go in the draft, the luckier you need to be. Someone could crunch the numbers on success and failure of drafts (I think it has been done by Willis)and the failure rate is extremely high.

    How do you factor in: injury, mental strength, growth, accident/death, luck and lucky circumstances with each pick? And even when you do find a ‘sure’ pick, he does an Alexandre Daigle on you and becomes wallpaper on the ice.

    I enjoy these threads and look forward to the discussions, but seriously, sometimes people are too hard on scouting departments who do not have a resident crystal ball gazer to tell them the best picks 5 years out from the draft.

  40. Quinn says:

    Not being familiar with entry-level deals, does this mean it is likely/for sure Motin will be in Springfield next year, or can/will he spend another year in Europe?

  41. PunjabiOil says:

    The Oilers did not draft for need with Pouliot…When Kevin Lowe says that they wanted size down the middle after they couldn’t handle Dallas in the playoffs (Comrie and Marchant), that’s as close as it gets to acknowledging draft for need.

    Either way it’s a reasonable conclusion the Oilers failed at the draft table in 2003. The opportunity cost was considerable, despite the fact that Pouliot is an NHL player. To make things worse, Lowe didn’t get enough for moving down 4 spots.

    I loved Prendergast’s rationale/over-analyzing on Parise. One of the reasons for passing Parise was because “he looked tired and worn out later in the season”

  42. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    FCM, are you really saying that Kesler > Hemsky & Gagner? So if you woke up tomorrow and saw that Kesler was dealt for Hemsky and Gagner on the cover of the Sun, you would be happy with that?

    Hemsky & Gagner for Kesler would be a bad trade and I don't think anyone needs a few years perspective to be able to say that.

    No, it's not both but one or the other for Kesler.

    And, yes, I think you'd have to consider that trade very seriously for all the reasons I cited.

    Kesler has produced nearly as much offense as Hemsky with poorer linemates, is far better defensively, kills penalties and is 6'02"- 205.

    Gagner is slower, softer and unproven against tough competition. He might have more upside someday, but he might not and I really doubt he'll be a Selke candidate.

    Sam is 5 years younger but a lot can happen in 5 years…both good and bad.

  43. rickibear says:

    Kesler: age 22-24 1.75M
    Age 25-27 RFa contract 3.5-4M
    Age 28 to xxx UFA ???????????

    Funny follows a similiar centres model.

    I wounder if the VAN fanbase will bitch the need a #1 center and how overpaid he is.

  44. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    rickibear said…
    Kesler: age 22-24 1.75M
    Age 25-27 RFa contract 3.5-4M
    Age 28 to xxx UFA ???????????

    Funny follows a similiar centres model.

    I wounder if the VAN fanbase will bitch the need a #1 center and how overpaid he is.

    No, I’m sure they will have #1 centre and their 3rd line centre won’t be paid like one.

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