I’ve always felt you have to give any legit prospect 500 at-bats to see what he can do for you. That’s about one full season, and the Oilers have several wingers knocking at the door. Teemu Hartikainen is perhaps the most unique among the group, and his skill set is as close as any available to address the perceived “need” for a big, physical player with enough skill to roll with the whiz kids.
Teemu Hartikainen, Linus Omark and Magnus Paajarvi are “on deck” for the Oilers jobs on wing, but in reality I believe Linus Omark is here because the organization wants Paajarvi to have a long run this spring as part of the Barons. Hartikainen is the fellow we should be watching from now through season’s end, as the club does appear to see him as a legit part of the future.
So far this season–and I do know it’s a small, small sample size for Omark and Harski–Omark seems to be the better bet and Paajarvi does nice things outside a feature role. If only he could score.
LEFT WING ZONE STARTS
Again, not a lot of data for Hartikainen or Omark, but we can see that in the 41 games MP played he has had a fairly tough zone start. Nothing earth shattering, the Jones-Smyth tandem has done the tough work but we can see that there was no “push” in terms of zs for this player.
LEFT WING QUAL COMP
Hartikainen’s number (and Omark’s for that matter) are over such a small sample we shouldn’t read anything into them. Paajarvi is in a slot behind Smyth, Hall and Jones at this discipline, and that makes sense since he’s a youngster trying to find his way.
LEFT WING CORSIREL
Hall’s posting a nice number, and Paajarvi’s is nice too I think even considering he’s not facing the toughs. I’m disappointed in everything about MP’s season, but more than that I think the organization has handled him badly. Beyond badly, actually. It’s like he borrowed Ron Tabak’s bicycle. Anyway, Paajarvi will get another chance in the fall and the Oilers will hopefully put him into a better situation.
Tom Renney on Hartikainen and expectations of him: “He’s an up and down player, hard on the walls at both ends, goes to the blue paint, has some grit in his game naturally. I’ll watch him in regard to his instincts and his ability to read the play.”
Sounds like the Smyth role, I think Harski will get a full season in 12-13 to see if he can make the grade. I suspect he’ll be up and down the depth chart from skilled line to checker to energy and pressbox. I also suspect his NHL job could come at the expense of Paajarvi, who might find himself on the outside looking in again.
Omark? I can’t find a way to make him a part of this roster based on how they’ve handled him and what they’ve said about his future.
Tom Renney on Omark and the rest of the season: “When we’re healthy I don’t know that he needs to be a top-six guy, but he’s certainly a top-nine guy. He’s got to play, (but) so do others.”
Voices Carry. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Omark and Paajarvi gone by the fall. More’s the pity.