The most interesting prospect in the minors is Tyler Pitlick. Math isn’t a massive fan, but the saw him good group talks him up like he’s going to have a career. What’s up with Pitlick?
OKC RE 12-13: 72, 16-26-42
- Is he a powerforward? No. I’ve asked Jim Byers several times and he has suggested that Pitlick (6.02, 193) has a physical presence and can hit people, but we shouldn’t be expecting Milan Lucic.
- What is he? Tyler Pitlick is an interesting prospect. He isn’t an offensive dynamo, but with all of the top end talents already in Edmonton there might be a role on a skill line for a physical forward prepared to get his nose dirty.
- What will he do if he gets here? Pitlick’s skill set tells us there are several options, and one of them might be as a complementary player on a skill line. In other words, exactly what many fans are calling for right now at the NHL level.
- So, basically a RH Hartikainen? With better footspeed and less offense, plus some battle. Redline Report: “Accelerates briskly out of cross-over and blows by defenders. Has an NHL calibre shot right now. Flashed the ability to power through defenders. Can gain separation in corners with sharp twists and can turn on a dime. Patient playmaker. Long-limbed with farmboy like strength. Aggressive and finished checks. Can shield the puck and work it down low, but often gives it up due to his eagerness to come off the wall and attempt to dance around defenders. Work in progress defensively – will come back deep and battle for the puck but lacks awareness in coverage assignments. Green in many facets and was stuck on a Mankato team that was every man for himself, but was a big-time talent.”
- Why didn’t he post better AHL numbers? I have a couple of theories, three actually. First, he turned pro pretty young (not yet 20) and second the guy has been playing in a different league every season. Finally, I do believe (and have stated before) that the OKC Barons under Todd Nelson have a longer view on prospects. Most of the kids coming in during his coaching time with the Barons play depth minutes before getting solid time.
- Exceptions? Hartikainen was one, but he didn’t come from junior or college either.
- Is there anything about his past that suggests Pitlick can score goals? He popped 22 EV goals in Medicine Hat, that’s a good total. It would have been a better boxcar season but he didn’t get the PP push.
- Can he make it as an NHL player on a skill line? I think there’s a chance, yes. He’ll be a complementary player, the third wheel riding along with two superior players but that shot should give him some chances.
- Your RE doesn’t suggest a lot of confidence in him. I’m not expecting him to get a lot of PP time in OKC this season. He will in my opinion get more playing time and probably more time with skill.
- Is Hartikainen a better prospect? We don’t have all of the evidence, but I would suggest that by this time next year we’ll know. Pitlick has decent size, plus footspeed and a plus shot. He should get his best chance this season to show offensively. If he is on a pace that puts him north of 50 points, I expect he’ll earn a callup to the NHL.
- So he’s still in the plans? God yes. Pitlick has the tools to be a checking winger if the offense won’t come. Oilers are high on this player, he’s going to get every chance to succeed.
- And he played better in the second half. And in the playoffs too, as he began to get more playing time. There’s much we don’t know about him, even though Pitlick has played one AHL season. He graduated junior a year earlier than some would have thought wise, so in some ways this season may be his coming out party as a pro.