#5 PROSPECT (winter 2012): TEEMU HARTIKAINEN

(Photo: Courtesy Steven Christy Photography. All Rights Reserved.)

Teemu Hartikainen is in the final year of his entry level deal. The big Finn has a “window of opportunity” to show the Oilers brass he can run with the bulls, and so far he’s been able to keep pace.

  • Hartikainen: I’m playing good and I feel good and it’s the last year of my contract, so of course I want the lockout to end so I can get the chance to show the Oilers I can play up there.”

Hartikainen began the year down the depth chart, but soon caught on with the Nuge and Jordan Eberle, making hay with the big boys and showing some chemistry with the NHLers. After Hall’s arrival, Hartikainen joined Swedes Lander and (half-Finn) Paajarvi to form a line that has been effective if not offensive.
The powerplay points keep coming. Hartikainen has described himself this season as a “power forward” but there are limitations.

Summer 2012: #6

Winter 2012: #5

Pre-draft

  • International Scouting Services: “real warrior who hates to lose. Great work ethic, loves to play a physical style and when he’s on he’s unstoppable. Has a habit of taking bad penalties. Does not have a lot of offensive flair but does have the skill set to be a reliable defensive center at the next level.”
  • Redline Report“good size and strength, his feet are fairly heavy.”

2012-13
  • Boxcars: 16, 5-9-14 +2 14pims
  • Todd Nelson: Harty’s got pretty good hands around the net. Lots of his goals come in tight, off secondary chances. He’s also doing a heck of a job on the power play, in front of the net, mirroring the goalie.” (This came during a period Hartikainen scored 7 points in 7 games, playing with RNH and Eberle).
  • More Nelson“The thing (Hartikainen) has to do is what he did in the playoffs last year. He was very dominant. He played a very physical game. And he has the ability to score goals.” 
  • Hartikainen on playing the powerforward role: “I’ve been playing that way all my life, but when I came over here (to North America from Finland) I didn’t know how I should I play. Do I need to score a lot of points and be a really good player in the stats? Now I know.”
  • Steve Tambellini“What he brings is the ability for us to sustain pressure. It’s hard to move him off the puck. Teemu’s biggest thing has been having consistency as a pro, deliver every night. He’s off to a very good start, which is important for him. I know he’s working very hard on his strength and conditioning to sustain the type of play we’re demanding from him. If he keeps it up, he’ll have a good shot at (playing in) the National (Hockey) League.”

There have been more talented men who patrolled the wing for the Edmonton Oilers. Jari Kurri was one of them. So was Donny Murdoch, Linus Omark is a more talented hockey player than Teemu Hartikainen.

Some call it heart, some call it effort, it is an outstanding opportunity.

The Oilers want a big winger to play with their skilled kids and he’s bonding with them, finding chemistry with them, team building with them. It doesn’t always work out–Donny Murdoch was sent away after extended time with the Boys on the Bus–and if he can’t hold the job there will be other options along soon enough.

For now, Hartikainen is a strong option.

#5 ranked prospects on December lists:
  • December 2004: D Doug Lynch
  • December 2005: C Andrew Cogliano
  • December 2006: L Jean-Francois Jacques
  • December 2007: C Rob Schremp
  • December 2008: D Alex Plante
  • December 2009: D Theo Peckham
  • December 2010: D Theo Peckham
  • December 2011: D Martin Marincin
  • December 2012: L Teemu Hartikainen

Next fall, the Oilers will have to keep Hartikainen on the roster or lose him to waivers. The other winger options (top 6) for the club are Hall, Eberle, Yakupov and Hemsky. Hartikainen can’t compete with that kind of skill, but based on how the Oilers are constructing their roster it looks like they would prefer a big powerforward over skill. Perhaps they’ll move Yakupov to a “mentor” third line or they may do the unthinkable and send away Hemsky.

Either way, I believe Hartikainen is at a point where he’s earned his NHL shot, and I believe he’ll get  it when the lockout ends.

 

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26 Responses to "#5 PROSPECT (winter 2012): TEEMU HARTIKAINEN"

  1. drave says:

    Not sure if it’s just me, but your embedded video links don’t seem to work the last few days.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Ack! Really? Anyone else having this problem?

  3. OilClog says:

    He’s got to come out hitting everything in sight, making space for our skilled players. If the combos go as Kruger was suggesting, he could be paired up with whoever is going that night and serve his role

    But, this wow trade talk and the way the roster looks. You would have to think the forwards others then the 4 kids and smyth could all be different players. I can’t see Hemsky being traded, as yakupov hasn’t played a game in the NHL yet, he just signed an extension, with very vocal support of his teammates, and a few of us diehards.

  4. drave says:

    After a bit more testing, I think it’s just me. Embedded videos don’t work on Facebook either…

  5. Fluxite says:

    Hey Lowtide

    Do think Todd Nelson should be playing him at centre?

  6. Lowetide says:

    Ah, cool. I pride myself on having the….yeah, well. :-)

    Anyway, I’m quite pleased with Hartikainen so far this season. Not as consistent as you’d like, but I’d take him over Jones, Eager, Hordichuk and Petrell this fall.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Fluxite:
    Hey Lowtide

    Do think Todd Nelson should be playing him at centre?

    Nah. I suspect there was a reason he was moved to wing (footspeed) and he can handle the defensive end of the game on LW easier.

  8. blackdog says:

    Love Teemu. Love him.

    Unsure as to why anyone has to move. Get as many good players as you can. If your top six wingers are Hall, Hemsky, Yakupov, Eberle, Teemu and Smytty and you have Paajarvi as well then you can weather some slumps, injuries, use icetime as a carrot. Smyth won’t be around forever. Lets see what the kids have.

    Real quality in the top five. Its great.

    Only quibble is I think Petry should have been ranked already. I know you don’t like him LT but really I think he should be at least #3.

  9. Ryan says:

    What is Petry doing during the lockout?

  10. blackdog says:

    Probably wondering what the hell he has to do to get on LT’s prospects list.

  11. Ryan says:

    Lol black dog, I’m guessing LT has graduated Petry from prospect status. Assume, you’re being sarcastic x2.

  12. nelson88 says:

    I realize the new CBA might chance things but under the existing rules if Yakupov doesn’t play 10 games for the Oilers his ELC slides until next year?

    If so and they don’t get the lockout settled until January and you can only play 40 games or so. Do you bring Yak over or let him stay in Russia to work on his game? Wouldn’t want to start the relationship off on a bad foot but if he is making decent $$$ and can play in Russia maybe he doesn’t mind? I would be awfully tempted to let the contract slide.

    - at the rate schultz is going you could reasonably looking at 5 “6 million dollar men” eventually and it would certainly be helpful to have Yak’s more cap friendly $3M+ cap number for a full 3 years to extend the window
    - he is playing in a tough league against men and gaining good experience.
    - allows you to play Harski and MPS in more important NHL roles for a shortened season which will help development, give you a better idea of what you have and (hopefully) raise trade values if need be.

  13. Ryan says:

    Hard to wait for this bloody lockout to end…

    Good grief we get Yakupov and Shultz gifts himself and no eta on watching either play in the NHL.

  14. Ryan says:

    I keep day dreaming about Yak-Nuge-Eberle murduring soft minutes. 2 IQ elite passers and the trigger man. Maybe hall-Gagner-Hemsky for tougher minutes. That and Shultz on the PP. let’s get this deal done already.

  15. Lowetide says:

    blackdog:
    Love Teemu. Love him.

    Unsure as to why anyone has to move. Get as many good players as you can. If your top six wingers are Hall, Hemsky, Yakupov, Eberle, Teemu and Smytty and you have Paajarvi as well then you can weather some slumps, injuries, use icetime as a carrot. Smyth won’t be around forever. Lets see what the kids have.

    Real quality in the top five. Its great.

    Only quibble is I think Petry should have been ranked already. I know you don’t like him LT but really I think he should be at least #3.

    What about Ryan Jones? And the children? WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN? I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see 3 scoring lines. If Krueger can do that I’ll buy him mukluks every September. Good ones too, handmade by Margaret Atwood.

    As for Petry, he knows what he did. He gets the back of the hand.

  16. stevezie says:

    drave:
    After a bit more testing, I think it’s just me. Embedded videos don’t work on Facebook either…

    Embedded videos aren’t working for me either. Maybe we both have a computer problem, or maybe there’s a larger conspiracy at work?

  17. PaperDesigner says:

    Jeff Petry is going to be a bust. Now Taylor Chorney and Cody Wild, that’s where the smart money is!

  18. blackdog says:

    Poor Petry.

    I know LT its absurd. The club needs tough minute outscorers in the Pisani/Smyth/Horcoff of old mode but until they get them or develop them its beyond me why you would move guys because they don’t fit some outdated model that requires your bottom six to be trucelent grinders. I will never get over the fact that a majority of the fanbase was happy to trade Hemsky for picks.

    If you run a lineup where your fourth line is Paajarvi or Teemu plus Belanger and Jones then you’ve got a pretty decent set of forwards, certainly a lot better than if its Lander betwen Eager and Hordichuk on that last line.

    They need veteran D and maybe a goalie and some guys who can check, sure, but run the kids out there until you know what you have before you start moving good players for picks and prospects.

  19. Woodguy says:

    If the NHL Oilers ever play again, the need a Finn.

    Finns win.

    They also need a new man to stand in front of the net on PP1 who has hands in tight.

    Harski fills this void.

    Also,

    3 lines with a clue and a 4th line of players who can play up the lineup on the Oilers?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Never happen.

    Those types of teams win.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Spot on, Woodguy. 3 effective lines means? Maybe spring 2006, but MacT mostly didn’t have 9 forwards to cobble together 4 lines let alone 3.

  21. gcw_rocks says:

    Trading Hemsky isn’t unthinkable. If there is a viable replacement available (yakupov) and bigger needs elsewhere on the roster (defence or goaltending) then it is absolutely thinkable.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Nail Yakupov is a teenager. JORDAN EBERLE isn’t ready to replace Ales Hemsky. Why do people not believe this?

  23. blackdog says:

    Nope get rid of him. You can always have too many good players.

    Or something.

  24. Rocknrolla says:

    First time I had heard Teemu played center. Could this be our big number 2 guy?

  25. blackdog says:

    Rocknrolla – he doesn’t skate well enough to play centre in the pros

  26. spoiler says:

    Lowetide:
    Nail Yakupov is a teenager. JORDAN EBERLE isn’t ready to replace Ales Hemsky. Why do people not believe this?

    This. A thousand times this. And then another thousand for good measure.

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