Tyler Pitlick is an interesting prospect. Although he did not have a strong debut in the AHL in 11-12, the organization remains strong on his future.
In an interview with Jason Gregor, OKC coach Todd Nelson had this to say about Pitlick:
- Nelson: “right now, we have Hartikainen, Green, and Pitlick as a line. That’s a situation where we want to see Tyler Pitlick take the next step, play in a top‑six role. And I think playing alongside Josh Green and Hartikainen should help him out, and he should see some benefits from that.”
Basically, the Oilers decided–with three winger slots available for skill minutes (Eberle getting the other slot)–to go with Paajarvi, Hartikainen and Pitlick as their first options. Meaning players like Mark Arcobello are on the outside looking in (at least initially).
Pitlick scored 22 even-strength goals in Medicine Hat, that’s a solid total. Beyond that, his offense since being drafted has been average or (as it was last season) below expectations. We don’t have access to time-on-ice totals for any league he’s played in, but a long period on the 2line would offer us the best chance yet to see if he can deliver enough offensively.
As with Paajarvi (and Hartikainen), that’s the question we’re trying to answer with Tyler Pitlick. Is he good enough to score 20 a year on a second scoring line, or will his role be on a checking line (should he make the grade)?