Bob McKenzie: 25
Bob McKenzie: Tyler Pitlick is the nephew of former NHL defenceman Lance Pitlick and scored 11 goals as a freshman at Mankato State University. A late 1991 birthdate, he was an offensive player in the Minnesota high school system but will have to prove he can put up numbers with each step up in competition, but he plays a solid enough all-around game to garner first round consideration.
Began season playing the wing on a scoring line, but spent the last quarter of the year shouldering more responsibility centering Mankato’s third line. Accelerates briskly out of cross-over and blows by defenders. Has an NHL calibre shot right now. Flashed the ability to power through defenders. Can gain separation in corners with sharp twists and can turn on a dime. Patient playmaker. Long-limbed with farmboy like strength. Aggressive and finished checks. Can shield the puck and work it down low, but often gives it up due to his eagerness to come off the wall and attempt to dance around defenders. Work in progress defensively – will come back deep and battle for the puck but lacks awareness in coverage assignments. Green in many facets and was stuck on a Mankato team that was every man for himself, but was a big-time talent.
Projection – Versatile 3rd line checker who chips in on “O”
Style compares to: Max Pacioretty
ISS: A big hard-nosed centerman who can play with finesse and power. It’s that combination of skill and brawn that makes Pitlick such an intriguing prospect. … His hands are quick and smart and he moves the puck quickly with good accuracy. He plays smart all over and shoots the puck very well, with his feet moving.”
6.02, 195. 2009-10: Minnesota State (NCAA) 38gp, 11-8-19 E 27pims.