A FALSE SPRING?

Tyler Pitlick played his first pro hockey game age 19 years, 11 months and 7 days. The young man showed flashes but did not deliver offensively deep into the season. At the end of the year, and into the playoffs, there are signs he’s turning a corner. Is this a false spring?

Not everyone makes the “A” list and not every prospect makes it past the AHL. Edmonton’s Tyler Pitlick was taken just outside the first round, so expectations are that he’ll play some important games in the NHL.

Will he?

It didn’t look like it for most of this season, Pitlick went a long time without showing much offensively. Even NHL checkers score at a certain level in the minors and Pitlick’s comparables at the same age suggested his future involved actually working for a living.

  • Pitlick through 35 AHL games: 4-6-10 .286

That isn’t promising. Really, if this were a movie the dialogue would be heavy and the music would suggest impending doom. In Foghat terms, “Slow Ride” would be too fast a pace.

  • Pitlick since: 31gp, 5-12-17 .548

This could mean very little: Pitlick’s on a winning streak, getting a push from the coach, rolling 7′s and winning the girl. This happens and that’s a very small sample size.

Still, for a guy who looked like a goner in late January this is a nice little run. No outlandish predictions, no suggestions he’ll be riding shotgun to Hall and the Nuge, zero thought he’s in the driver’s seat.

But there’s a pulse. A false spring? Heaven knows.

Godspeed young man. We’re waiting for you.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

32 Responses to "A FALSE SPRING?"

  1. Woodguy says:

    I haven’t watched any AHL playoffs, but many of those who have say that Pitlick is the best non-AHL vet on the Barons.

    A rookie in 3 different leagues in 3 years.

    Needs some time to settle in and find his game.

    I hope.

  2. DSF says:

    Woodguy:
    I haven’t watched any AHL playoffs, but many of those who have say that Pitlick is the best non-AHL vet on the Barons.

    A rookie in 3 different leagues in 3 years.

    Needs some time to settle in and find his game.

    I hope.

    I’ve watched and he is head and shoulders the best prospect in the playoffs.

    Might be a player there.

  3. Southern Oil says:

    Say LT – why don’t you create a music blog in your spare time :-) Is the rest of the Sniff & Tears stuff worth checking out? Loved the Neil Young stuff BTW.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Southern Oil: Only song I ever heard from Sniff n the Tears, I think they were a one hit wonder. LOVED that song, played the hell out of it even though it was a pop song. The drum is recorded so well, and that was during the era where that stupid Eagles airdrum thingy was all over the radio. BANG! man that first hammer on the drum sounds good!

  5. TheOtherJohn says:

    Pitlick has size, hits and can shoot. He did not play centre in either the Hat or OKC and yet many here continue to refer to him as a centre. Do not get that, at all. Expect that he will be a fixture on our 4th line in a year (13-14) and may, in fact, move up to play 3rd line minutes on the wing.

    Worse part of false spring may be that his improved half year projects to 38 to 40 points over 65 games.

  6. Southern Oil says:

    Lowetide:
    Southern Oil: Only song I ever heard from Sniff n the Tears, I think they were a one hit wonder. LOVED that song, played the hell out of it even though it was a pop song. The drum is recorded so well, and that was during the era where that stupid Eagles airdrum thingy was all over the radio. BANG! man that first hammer on the drum sounds good!

    Figured as much after I googled them. Good tune though. Before my time but I love listening to older stuff.

    About Pitlick, I have not been able to watch the Barons at all but here’s hoping he turns out to be something. Sometimes I figure that is the only way this team is going to get any balance – if MBS drafts all the pieces required.

  7. cabbiesmacker says:

    Southern Oil:
    Say LT – why don’t you create a music blog in your spare time Is the rest of the Sniff & Tears stuff worth checking out?

    At the risk of dating myself I actually bought that album. Yes album. A large vinyl floppy disk approx 12 INCHES in diameter for you kiddies. It sucked. Even the song that made me buy the damn thing sucked after I’d listened to it 30 times. The rest of the album was even worse sadly. A true one hit wonder up there on the scale of C’mon Eileen bad.

    TY LT for causing another flashback.

    If you keep this up some of my early hallucingen “experimental” days are going to return as well.

    Just promise me…pleeeeaseeee….you wont link Jesse’s Girl or Billy, Don’t be a Hero in a post anytime soon. I don’t have a measuring tape long enough to calculate the projectile vomit distance.

  8. Ontarioil says:

    I saw an interview early in the year where Pitlick said he still thinks of himself as a center and attributed some of his struggles in his last year of junior and early AHL time to learning to play wing. Having seen him play a few times this year I had a hard time understanding why he was struggling to put up points, he created a lot of scoring opportunities with his speed and physicality, count me a fan but I wonder if maybe theres a ryan jones effect going on here where he’s all over the ice and looks great but doesn’t accomplish all that much…

  9. Lowetide says:

    Cabbie: My brother bought that awful Paper Lace album with the Night Chicago Died, Billy Don’t be a Hero and Black Eyed Boys on it and played it over and over and over again. Oh. my GOD!

    Perhaps the worst album in the history of time. I’d rather listen to Heintje.

  10. Jordan says:

    Ontarioil,

    A bigger, faster Ryan Jones?

    I’d take that guy on the Oilers. If nothing else, he’d replace Ryan Jones. That’s a win.

    Seriously though, I think that we need to come back to reality here people.

    Most prospects take time to develop. There was a time several years ago when people all over this blog were clamouring for prospects to be left in the minors for an eternity. I still argue that Smid (while I love the guy – and always have) would have been much better served with 2-3 years more in the AHL playing all situations, instead of being stapled to Staois’ hip and getting mauled for what seemed like an eternity.

    Now, after being spoiled by wunderkidz coming up and blowing the doors off, there’s this malaise about leaving kids down there to figure out who they are at the pro level.

    I don’t think any player really knows who they are as a pro until they reach 22. This season we started to figure out who Eberle is. Next year we get to see if that’s smoke and mirrors. Still not sure where Hall’s upside will lead him, and RNH looks good but… Between 22-25 is the window for players who haven’t already made it into the NHL to either put up or shut up as prospects, and after that, they’re AHL vets or Euro-league bound.

    Pitlick should have 2 more seasons at the AHL before we even start to question him as a prospect.

    Anything else is just fretting about the weather: sure you can do it, but its a huge waste of time.

  11. Gerta Rauss says:

    That’s a nice win for WAS-it seems fitting and follows the theme of the first round.

  12. Gerta Rauss says:

    cabbiesmacker: Just promise me…pleeeeaseeee….you wont link Jesse’s Girl or Billy, Don’t be a Hero in a post anytime soon. I don’t have a measuring tape long enough to calculate the projectile vomit distance.

    I don’t see Rick Astley or Cutting Crew on that list-have at ‘er LT.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Gerta: they’re on deck, followed by Roger Whitaker and David Geddes!

  14. regwald says:

    Just for fun I tweeted Corey Pronman whether he was a #2 or #2 C. See the response below.

    Hes not a 2. Much more of a 3rd liner. RT @regwald: @coreypronman Tyler Pitlick – #2 or #3 Center in the NHL ?

  15. Gerta Rauss says:

    3rd period of the Oil Kings/Moose Jaw coming up on Shaw cable CH 301-free preview of this channel.(in BC anyway)

    4-1 Moose Jaw after 2 periods.

  16. regwald says:

    and someone asked about Lander

    I like him. I think he ends up on a scoring line with good defensive value. RT @Homersampson: @coreypronman what about Anton Lander

  17. regwald says:

    And more from Pronman

    The better player, Lander. RT @mtoggel: @coreypronman @regwald who would be a better 3rd Lander or Pitlick

  18. FPB94 says:

    And the Capitals eleminate the champs” Whack playoffs.

    All elemination I got’em. (WSH,NSH etc)

    I’l be 8 of 8 if NYR and FLA win!

  19. Ducey says:

    LT, HF had this in their top 20 Oilers list in Feb:

    Offensively there is no doubt this season has been a disappointing one for Tyler Pitlick. Coming off a quality WHL season with the Medicine Hat Tigers, his 10 points in 36 games in the AHL are not what he was hoping for. That said, both he and fellow rookie pro Curtis Hamilton have been eased into the pro game by Barons head coach Todd Nelson, and of late both his ice time and opportunities have been increasing.

    So there would seem to be some reason for the slow start and optimism re the 2nd half.

    BTW HF has Klefbom as the 21st best prospect in hockey. Justin Schultz is #25.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: Yeah I think TOI would tell us a story (if we had it).

  21. FPB94 says:

    Nino Niedderreiter: I tought he was injured all year long. Then realised he scored 1 goal in 55 games in the NHL”

    What was NYI’s management thinking?

  22. TheOtherJohn says:

    FFS ……. We are gauging whether Pitlick is a wing or a centre on what he says when asked the Q. Seriously? Ever turned to 15 young kids at a hockey practice and asked who was a centre….. And 15 kids, including the goalie, raised their hand.

    Have no difficulty with leaving Lander, Pitlick, Hamilton, Marincin Davidson all play in the AHL for 65 games next year to develop. Although the 3 forwards had better start scoring at the AHL level if they hope to project as decent bottom 6 NHL players in their 21/22 year.

    Now I am sure scientists have some methodology for determining empirically when a prospect subtlly changes to become a suspect but surely Chorney is already there, Plante is banging on that door and Tuebert is standing in the anteroom

  23. Lowetide says:

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting Pitlick is close to NHL ready. He’s had a slight uptick, lets not get ahead of ourselves.

  24. Schitzo says:

    So if everything bounces the right way and Pitlick turns into an NHL forward, who is his comp? Is he the white Mike Grier?

  25. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide:
    Cabbie: My brother bought that awful Paper Lace album with the Night Chicago Died, Billy Don’t be a Hero and Black Eyed Boys on it and played it over and over and over again. Oh. my GOD!

    Perhaps the worst album in the history of time. I’d rather listen to Heintje.

    In cases like that I’m pretty sure fratricide is justifiable. The judge might even have asked where you hid the body so he could go torch it.

    My girlfriend loved the song to the point that if she hadn’t had such a spectacular chest…. I mighta…oh nm.

    Around that same time my mother had discovered the joys of Tony Orlando and Dawn and my dad was boppin to Herb Alpert and Bert Conniff?? (sp) so that shit was playing on the Electrohome “hi-fi” one piece of ugly furniture wood POS 24/7.

    Such horrible memories rushing back now. I may require therapy.

  26. cabbiesmacker says:

    Schitzo:
    So if everything bounces the right way and Pitlick turns into an NHL forward, who is his comp?Is he the white Mike Grier?

    I think more like Ottawa’s Foligno. IF the Oilers get lucky I mean. Took him a while to get the motor revved up too.

    To quote the Toronto Star:

    ASSETS: Displays outstanding work ethic and grit. Has all-around potential and a willingness to learn. Pays the price to put up offensive numbers. Can play anywhere needed.

    FLAWS: Lacks a little consistency from game to game, including in the physical department.

    CAREER POTENTIAL: Hard-working, versatile forward.

  27. TheOtherJohn says:

    Can we quit quoting his draft year analysis. It really does not mean much, see: Barker, Cam.3rd overall!! Pitlick has had two years since his draft year against better quality competition. Maybe measure him against that competition. May still become a player. A “white” Mike Grier is high praise indeed. Grier was a very good 3rd line winger

  28. FPB94 says:

    I think Pitlick’s future is 2 way center like Laich, or 3rd wheel strong winger with decent hands like Andrei K.

  29. oilswell says:

    Does anyone know how strict Nelson is in terms of ice time and responsibilities for young players? Didn’t Cornet see an uptick towards the end of last season also? I’m wondering if there isn’t evidence mounting of an approach to structured progression for young players down on the farm. Would be good to hear from someone who follows the team.

  30. Schitzo says:

    Is a Kyle Brodziak comparison somewhere in the range? (Again, blue skying that his development continues in a straight line)

  31. slopitch says:

    Ahhh development. If only you were linear we’d be able to predict these things.

    Ducey: Good find. I’m surprised Schultz is behind Klefbom. But they have Minney outside the top 10 org rankings too so who knows.

    For all the talk about slow development and using the farm to do this, the Flyers are developing a ton of rookies at the NHL level. Coutourier is high end and Read is 25 but still the Flyers draft and develop as good as anyone. They just dont have Nik Norris.

  32. PaperDesigner says:

    I think with Pitlick, and Hamilton, the hope should be that they gradually turn themselves into two way, third line players. I don’t think their numbers, or even their descriptions, ever screamed more than “third line guy!”, but that’s all right–the Oilers could use a couple of players like that. My gut still tells that that, between the two, I’d rather bet on Hamilton. Still, it’s worth remembering that these players are both in only their second post-draft season; a lot of players don’t play pro until they are in their third post-draft season. If they have trouble finding a role next year, then there’s concern. But I would expect both of them to grab top six roles, and start scoring at reasonable rates.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca