What defines a power forward? Size? Speed? A combination of the two? Goal scoring? The ability to intimidate? Play 15 minutes a night?
The Edmonton Oilers have been looking to add size to their roster for years now, really since Messier was traded to Manhattan. They have scored some impressive options (Arnott was a beauty, loved Billy Guerin) but haven’t been able to keep those options for long.
Teemu Hartikainen is likely to get a push this fall, as the team once again searches for a big forward to play with their skilled men. Hartikainen isn’t exactly a coke machine, but does have size:
- Ben Eager, 6.02 240
- Teemu Hartikainen 6.01, 215
- Darcy Hordichuk 6.01, 212
According to the Oilers website, the only pro forwards over 6 feet and 210 pounds are these three gentlemen. Hordichuk is a 4 minutes a night fighter, Eager is a role playing disturber and Hartikainen is a hopeful skill winger with size.
It isn’t really fair to cut off the names at 6.00, 210 but the players below (Paajarvi, Martindale, Horcoff) aren’t really PF types, either.
In 29 NHL games, Hartikainen has scored 5-5-10. That’s in 430 minutes, about one half hour on the PP. If he played a full season (three times what he’s done so far in the NHL, so about what Sam Gagner played this season) with the same TOI he’s seen so far, would that be enough to keep a job on a skill line? 15-15-30?
Is Hartikainen physical enough? will he score enough? Does he have enough size? speed? ability to win puck battles?
I think that’s a major question to keep in mind as this roster takes shape.