The Edmonton Oilers warm up to their depth prospects like people courted a hundred years ago: sllllooowwwwwly.
I don’t think we’re looking at a Star Wars talent in Teemu Hartikainen but it is time for the Oilers to find out if they can use him. OKC Coach Todd Nelson said recently that Hartikainen (and Magnus Paajarvi) can play either wing and with Ales Hemsky apparently all but gone (man, I can’t believe there isn’t more outcry about it) it falls to the minor league system to fill the void.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Hartikainen does have his issues, although the major one (speed) has improved markedly since his draft day. He’s big, strong and certainly skilled enough to play in the Oilers top 12 at this time. I understand the reasons why EDM sent him down this past callup (-4 in 3gp isn’t exactly Gretzky) but he looked good in 10-11 and the organization needs to find out about him.
- 2010-11 AHL: 66, 17-25-42 .636
- 2011-12 AHL: 27, 9-9-18 .667
Hartikainen has not gone backwards and he is not injured. The Edmonton Oilers can’t find 12 forwards who can take a forward pass and yet the big Finn remains in the minors. I understand the All-Star break is just ahead and after it the trade deadline. I think it is reasonable to suggest that these are the last days this season Hartikainen should be playing in OKC. He’s 1-4-5 E in his last 7 games in the AHL.