ETA Pitlick

Tyler Pitlick had a solid but unspectacular season with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). He’s an important prospect in several ways: first, he was a high pick, first selection in round two of the 2010 entry draft. Second: he’s skilled with size and likes to play a physical style. Could Pitlick be that elusive winger with truculence and enough ability to play with the skilled men? What position will he play? When can we expect him to arrive in the NHL?

Those top 40 selections need to work out in order for an NHL team to build the kind of quality and quantity required to compete for a playoff position and a deep playoff run. Pitlick could have played in Medicine Hat, Oklahoma City or Edmonton (NHL) this past season but the organization made the right call and sent the young forward to the junior loop. 6.02, 194 when he was drafted out of Minnesota State University at Mankato, he’d been playing since he was three years old (it’s a family tradition). Redline report–the scouting world’s toughest marker, liked him plenty: “Accelerates briskly out of cross-overs and blows by defenders. Has an NHL caliber shot right now. Flashed the ability to power through defenders to get to net. High energy level every shift. Can gain separation in corners with sharp twists and can turn on a dime. Patient playmaker. Long-limbed with farmboy like strength. Aggressive and finishes checks.”

Pitlick entered the WHL and the Tigers coaching staff instantly placed him on RW. The Oilers have remained steadfast in their public comments that Pitlick will be a centerman but last year at least he played the wing.

  • Tyler Pitlick first half: 33gp, 15-21-36 (1.09)
  • Tyler Pitlick since: 23gp, 12-14-26 (1.13)
  • Tyler Pitlick total: 56gp, 27-35-62 (1.10)
In terms of where he ranks in Desjardins NHLE compared to other possible OKC Barons this winter, here’s the list:
  1. Anton Lander (SEL) 14-20-34
  2. Tanner House (NCAA) 10-24-34
  3. Curtis Hamilton (WHL) 10-23-33
  4. Mark Arcobello (AHL) 15-16-31
  5. Lennart Petrell (SML) 10-18-28
  6. Ryan Keller (AHL) 17-10-27
  7. Tyler Pitlick (WHL) 12-15-27
  8. Josh Green (AHL) 8-17-25
  9. Teemu Hartikainen (AHL) 10-13-23
  10. Hunter Tremblay (CIS) no equivalency)
  11. Toni Rajala (SML) 9-13-22
  12. Antti Tyrvainen (SML) 12-8-20
  13. Ryan O’Marra (AHL) 1-14-15
  14. Milan Kytnar (AHL) 6-8-14
  15. Phil Cornet (AHL) 4-10-14
  16. Chris VandeVelde (AHL) 7-2-9
  17. Cameron Abney (WHL) 3-5-8
Based on that list, I’d say Pitlick has a solid chance to play in the AHL next season but isn’t likely to get the big minutes at center. Center should be the domain of men like Mark Arcobello, Chris VandeVelde, Ryan O’Marra, Anton Lander, Tanner House and Milan Kytnar.
Established AHL right-winger Ryan Keller is the strongest option at the position but it would seem there’s a real chance for Pitlick starboard side.

Pitlick’s offense last season ranked him 3rd among WHL rookies and his EV stats (56gp, 22-19-41) suggest he might be a player. His 22 EV goals rank him 2nd among Tigers during the regular season despite missing several games and playing only sporadically on the big scoring line.
I think it’s reasonable to suggest that we won’t see him during the regular season with the Oilers. Pitlick has a somewhat unique skill set (big, skilled, and physical) for RW’s on the pro roster but he has some things to prove in the minors.

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