#9 PROSPECT (winter 2012): TYLER PITLICK

Tyler Pitlick’s second AHL season has involved a crowded house on the wing, another healthy dose of depth minutes, bad puck luck and a concussion. Can’t wait for the second half!

Tyler Pitlick is starting to remind me of Colin Mcdonald. Don’t know why I didn’t see it before. McDonald was a bigger winger with a big shot and some jam, and the scouting report on draft day said “if he can score goals” he’d be a player. By the time McDonald figured out the American league he was beyond prospect status, and Tyler Pitlick may end up heading down the same road. However, McDonald was 22 as a rookie pro in the AHL (73, 12-11-23) and Pitlick was 19 when his AHL rookie season (62, 7-16-23) began. That is a significant gap in age, and its reasonable to suggest Pitlick has some room to grow.

He does some things that make him unique–bigger body, aggressive, works hard in the corners and he has a very good shot. NHL teams often find roles for such a player, but that solid scoring season in the WHL (22 even strength goals) is miles away. Despite his ranking at #9, Pitlick is the first player on this year’s list who will need a little luck to make the grade.

Summer 2012: #11

Winter 2012: #9

Pre-draft

ISS: 20; Redline: 30; Bob McKenzie: 25

  • Bob McKenzie: Tyler Pitlick is the nephew of former NHL defenceman Lance Pitlick and scored 11 goals as a freshman at Mankato State University. A late 1991 birthdate, he was an offensive player in the Minnesota high school system but will have to prove he can put up numbers with each step up in competition, but he plays a solid enough all-around game to garner first round consideration.
  • Redline: Began season playing the wing on a scoring line, but spent the last quarter of the year shouldering more responsibility centering Mankato’s third line. 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.
  • ISS:A big hard-nosed centerman who can play with finesse and power. It’s that combination of skill and brawn that makes Pitlick such an intriguing prospect. … His hands are quick and smart and he moves the puck quickly with good accuracy. He plays smart all over and shoots the puck very well, with his feet moving.”

2012-13

  • Coach Todd Nelson, pre-season: He has to play in a top-six role, that’s where we have him slotted. He might play in a line with Josh Green. We’re just kind of looking at things. To go through our whole lineup you can go through multiple combinations and I don’t think that we’d miss a beat. We’re very deep at forward and having Justin Schultz come help us out on defence is certainly a bonus. Tyler Pitlick, we feel that he’s a top-six guy and he’s going to get an opportunity to prove that and play in that role.

That was September. We are now in November, and the wingers with more points than Pitlick are Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Teemu Hartikainen, Magnus Paajarvi, Dane Byers and Curtis Hamilton. If he returns to health and the lockout ends, there may be time to save this season. If not, we’re probably looking at something resembling a lost season. I still think there’s a player here but the 2012-13 season looks like a doppleganger for one of those “shared AHL teams” the Oilers were farming kids to during the Prendergast era.

I’m encouraged that Jonathan Willis had a helluva tough time sussing out Pitlick too and I generally agree with his take (somewhere between Josh Green and Colby Armstrong). However, Pitlick’s entry level deal is halfway done and lets face it there are prospects ahead of him for the scoring and secondary roles.

 

#9 ranked prospects on December lists:
  • December 2004: G Devan Dubnyk
  • December 2005: L Tony Salmelainen
  • December 2006: D Jozef Hrabal
  • December 2007: G Devan Dubnyk
  • December 2008: D Cody Wild
  • December 2009: L Teemu Hartikainen
  • December 2010: C Anton Lander
  • December 2011: R Tyler Pitlick
  • December 2012: R Tyler Pitlick

Why then, do I have him at #9?

  1. TOI and role currently suggests his offensive numbers don’t reflect real ability. The offense this season isn’t terribly askew compared to last season. Pitlick’s even number a year ago (62, 4-13-17 .274ppg) isn’t that far ahead of his current number (14, 0-2-2 .143) and a two assist night in his next game would bring him to level. We don’t have TOI totals, but based on visual evidence I’m going to say he has not taken a step back offensively. His rookie numbers were disappointing, but it was his first season against men. We don’t really know if he could have made a step forward against normal AHL depth. Which leads to….
  2. Pitlick is the first of the Barons prospects we’ll talk about in the top 20 who are in real danger of losing a full season of development due to the lockout. He wasn’t getting any ab’s in the heart of the order when in the lineup. Damn shame, I wish Pitlick would ask management if he could play in the ECHL in order to get feature minutes because 8 minutes a night again this season isn’t going to do him any good at all.
  3. Pitlick is a shooter, and despite the wasteland that is his score sheet continues to rip it. So far in his pro career, Pitlick has 156 shots and 7 goals. That’s 4.49%, which is piss poor. How much of that is luck? No clue. However, I think its a reasonable bet that he’ll improve that number as he matures. Pitlick is still a kid, he has time.

The fact that Pitlick is #9–despite a disappointing season + in the AHL–reflects the quality and depth of the current 20 and my belief there’s a player here. “Saw him good” isn’t my lead or fallback position, but I do believe there’s much more here than we’re seeing currently.

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17 Responses to "#9 PROSPECT (winter 2012): TYLER PITLICK"

  1. Lowetide says:

    Barons play again tonight, Jim Byers has notes here
    http://www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?fa=GameNotes&ra=showarticle&guid=3FE503E4-00AE-4356-A186-B0335CACBD9B

    I’ll have a GDT up around 5pm. Also, Nail Yakupov plays again today, I’ll try to update but probably won’t be able to this morning.

  2. jp says:

    He really does look like an NHL player when you watch him. He looks like he should be putting up points. Hopefully they start going in for the guy and he gets lots of TOI once he returns from the apparent concussion. I think there’s room for him to play 12-15 min a night on the 3rd line (with some pretty good linemates) even if the lockout doesn’t end. He’s not going to get much PP time, but it doesn’t have to be a lost season for him even if the lockout lasts. Certainly would be better for him to play top 6 with PP time though.

  3. dessert1111 says:

    Hamilton seems to be a more complete player these days. Pitlick still has a higher ceiling in my opinion but he’s not putting it all together consistently. He will need to show more for an NHL audition. He’s not good enough defensively to not score, and he does a lot of good things not reflected on the scoresheet but I don’t think it’s enough for an NHL roster spot. Here’s hoping.

  4. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Robert Nilsson looking for work
    http://en.rsport.ru/hockey/20121130/633464869.html

    Maybe he’ll join Schremp in Belarus.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Damn shame, I wish Pitlick would ask management if he could play in the ECHL in order to get feature minutes because 8 minutes a night again this season isn’t going to do him any good at all.”

    Could mgt. not simply recognize this as the maximal option and make the call? Considering they haven’t done so… what is the argument against it?

  6. Chunklets says:

    jp,

    Schremp has actually taken his talents off to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria now. He did play one game in the Belarusan league before he and Dinamo Riga did the ol’ “contract terminated by mutual consent” dance.

    As for Nilsson, I don’t know what the story is there. Nilsson had 12 points in 17 games, which isn’t awful. He’ll find work somewhere, and my guess would be either the KHL or the SEL. We shall see.

  7. rickithebear says:

    Pitlick:
    in his 18 Yr season @ mankato NHLE says 32P @ 22YR in a second line role.
    His 19 Yr season @ The Hat says 32P @ 22YR in a 1st/2nd line role.
    he will only seee even time.
    22EVG 19EVA NHLE is 22EVP
    Last year in AHL says 16P @ 22. in a 3rd line role.

    His max has allways been 22P when play 1st and 2nd line teamates.
    16-18P when playing third line.

    Mitch Moroz
    17 Yr season NHLE 24EVP @22 playing 3rd line
    18 Yr season 18EVP @22 playing 3rd line.

    To modify quote Inigo Montoya
    Pitlick is not whoi you think he is.

    Pitlick love and Moroz hate.
    Picked in the same spot.
    Undeniable proof of bIas.

    Romulus:

    If it:
    looks like a duck,
    walks like a duck,
    quacks like a duck
    it is likely a duck.

  8. Reg Dunlop says:

    Pitlick… could be part of a trade package. That would be as big of an error as letting Glencross walk. Look at the similarities. Both good skaters, good size, agressive. Glencross played 5 AHL seasons and didn’t crack the NHL until 25. Pitlick is only 22. WAY too early to write him off.

  9. ItsTheBGB says:

    Who the hell is Jozef Hrabel!?!?

  10. PaperDesigner says:

    Are we out of good prospects already?

    I simply don’t see evidence that Pitlick has any major skills other than looking like a player. That will likely land him a temporary gig on the Oilers, but it won’t be on merit.

    I am willing to write him off as nothing more than a marginal prospect. I would be stunned if he ever breaks the thirty point barrier, or even the 200 game mark at the NHL level.

  11. VOR says:

    Reg,

    Didn’t Pitlick just turn 21 earlier this month. His birthday is Nov.1, 1991 isn’t it?

  12. jp says:

    ItsTheBGB:
    Who the hell is Jozef Hrabel!?!?

    Oilers 248th pick in 2003. Skinny Czech D who came over to NA for most of the 08-09 season (split between AHL and ECHL). Now 27, he’s scoring in a big way for the 1st time this season. 25-6-12-18. Ugly -14 next to his name, but top 30 in Czech league scoring, and 3rd among D. Weird, he’s right behind Lukas Zib in D scoring, another Oilers pick (overager in 2005). He’s also having the best season of his career (25-4-14-19 -3) at age 35.

  13. jp says:

    PaperDesigner:
    Are we out of good prospects already?

    I simply don’t see evidence that Pitlick has any major skills other than looking like a player. That will likely land him a temporary gig on the Oilers, but it won’t be on merit.

    I am willing to write him off as nothing more than a marginal prospect. I would be stunned if he ever breaks the thirty point barrier, or even the 200 game mark at the NHL level.

    Sometimes looking like a good player actually suggests a good player. As the scouting reports point out he has lots of attributes that appear to point to a guy who could play in the NHL. He hasn’t been able to score consistently at the AHL level yet, but as pointed out above he just turned 21 this month. Lots of guys have struggled to score starting their pro careers and have ended up being useful players. He may well not turn out, but he does have lots of the tools it takes to play in the NHL, thus he is a decent prospect.

  14. RexLibris says:

    Pitlick and Hamilton were the two prospects that I thought would be the most vulnerable in the lockout, due to the option of the top line playing in OKC. They needed to move up the proverbial batting order, and having Eberle and co. there just pushes them back down.

    Too bad, what we gain in development in one area may cost us in another.

  15. delooper says:

    Once Hall is at full-thunder I hope (and suspect) they’ll start breaking up the family jewels. Hall centering two prospects, primarily. Pitlick, the Fin and Hall could be really fun to watch.

  16. Matt.N says:

    delooper:
    Once Hall is at full-thunder I hope (and suspect) they’ll start breaking up the family jewels.Hall centering two prospects, primarily.A fire hydrant, the Fin and Hall could be really fun to watch.

    Fixed your post

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