OKC RE 13-14: TYLER PITLICK

Tyler Pitlick could do all of us a huge favor and emerge as a useful NHL hockey player. It would make the script so much easier: Oilers decide to rebuild spring 2010, draft Hall, Pitlick and Marincin that spring and they eventually help the Oilers turn it all around, their draft marking a strong “here’s where it started” storyline for historians. Problem is, Pitlick isn’t cooperating.

He’s still a kid (21 until the first of November) and there are still hockey men who’ll defend him, so there’s a chance he ends up being something. The 2010 draft hasn’t passed away or anything–the NHL has played in 212 games since Pitlick was drafted and he hasn’t played in any of them–but it looks like it won’t be as strong as some other years (at least so far). Among players chosen after Pitlick, only Justin Faulk (#37 to Carolina) has played more than 100 games. Nine of the 30 2nd round picks have played in the NHL and the only player with 15 or more goals is Brendan Gallagher (he has 15).

The problem isn’t really Pitlick’s inability to play an NHL game yet, the problem is that he’s not showing enough offense to be considered a strong bet for regular future employment. Pitlick is starting to remind me of Colin McDonald.

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 will find the range offensively in the world’s highest minor league based on his own past (and barring injury).

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. It’s been difficult to slot Pitlick as a prospect, as reflected by my rankings over the years.

PITLICK’S RANKING OVER THE YEARS

  • Summer 2010: #4
  • Winter 2010: #7
  • Summer 2011: #10
  • Winter 2011: #9
  • Summer 2012: #10
  • Winter 2012: #9
  • Summer 2013: #24

Pitlick’s progress–or lack thereof–has been stalled by injury, and you could also argue that his “one league a year” post draft meandering (NCAA-WHL-AHL) didn’t help, but really it’s been awhile since there was enough offense to get excited about for this player.

  • Age 18: 38, 11-8-19 (NCAA) (.500 point-per-game)
  • Age 19: 56, 27-35-62 (WHL) (1.1 point-per-game)
  • Age 20: 62, 7-16-23 (AHL) (.371 point-per-game)
  • Age 21: 44, 3-7-10 (AHL) (.227 point-per-game)

OKC RE 13-14: 56, 9-16-25

  1. What was last year’s RE for Pitlick? 72, 16-26-42 (.583). He wasn’t close. 
  2. So, if he scores 25 points does that mean he’s back to being a prospect? I think he’s still a prospect now, but I don’t think he gets another contract if he can’t post some crooked numbers.
  3. Is he a power forward? 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 a power forward type.
  4. What is he? Tyler Pitlick is an interesting prospect. He isn’t an offensive dynamo, more of a crash and bang type who can skate well and has a good shot.
  5. Honestly, it’s been so long since he was drafted, can you remind me of his skill set? Redline: “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.” 
  6. 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. He hasn’t done jackshit since, though.
  7. Is Hartikainen a better prospect? Yes.
  8. Why did the Oilers send Hartikainen away? Can’t tell you. I think it probably has to do with not getting any even strength points during his audition this past season in the NHL. MacT was watching, made the call.
  9. If he does make the NHL, where will he play? Bottom 6F, likely 4line. Certainly to start.
  10. Aside from the offense, is there any other bad news? Injuries, he’s been injured quite a bit since turning pro.
  11. Bottom line: is there a player here? Maybe, and I’m hopeful he shows something. Derek Zona had an interesting article at C&B back in Feb, talking about his insanely bad shooting percentage. Zona: Pitlick is either suffering an incredible run of luck or his shot is as threatening as the average defenseman, and that doesn’t make much sense. Pitlick has a heavy shot, and by most accounts an accurate shot. But if it’s a plus shot, which scouting reports say it is, and Pitlick were a true talent 9% shooter, the odds of him scoring 8 or less goals on 182 shots are less than 2%. If he’s a true talent 8% shooter, the odds are approximately 4%. So Pitlick is either a forward with a plus shot suffering through an abnormal amount of bad luck, or the shot that we believe is superior is actually inferior to the average forward, and not even as effective as Colten Teubert. 
  12. Where’s that Zona article? Here.

 

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21 Responses to "OKC RE 13-14: TYLER PITLICK"

  1. Bruce McCurdy says:

    It would have been a better boxcar season but he didn’t get the PP push.

    I saw Pitlick play a couple of times that season he was in the Hat and he seemed to be on the top PP unit. He was playing the left side of the umbrella (his off wing, top of the circle), while Linden Vey — who won the scoring title — ran the show from centre point. I daresay Pitlick got a bunch of powerplay (second) assists, even if he didn’t score a whack of PPG.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Pitlick WHL 10-11

    EV 56, 22-19-41
    PP 56, 5-16-21
    PK 56, 0-0-0

    Eberle WHL 08-09
    EV 61, 20-13-33
    PP 61, 12-24-36
    PK 61, 3-2-5

    He didn’t get as much out of it, though. His 5PP goals put him in a tie for 102nd that season in PP goals, and his 16 PP was good for a 45th place tie. Pats had some PP scorers that year too (Vey, Etem, Tochkin) but Pitlick wasn’t getting a lot of the touches based on these totals.

  3. spoiler says:

    Hartikainen left… he didn’t get sent away.

  4. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    Hartikainen left… he didn’t get sent away.

    Vase vase. An offer of a 2-way deal is being sent away.

  5. Manitoba Oilers says:

    I remember pitlick always having good preseason’s

  6. Logan91 says:

    I really like Pitlick, watched him a lot in the WHL. I’m really rooting for him to succeed.

    Here’s to hoping for him to find his game this year, and remain injury free!

  7. David says:

    Wasn’t it either the training camp right after he got drafted or the year after that he really impressed the Oilers staff and was one of the final cuts? I might be misremembering but I thought that was the case. Of course the Oiler teams of those years were fairly terrible but still to be considered almost NHL ready so soon after being drafted gave me huge hope for him. It’s been all downhill since.

  8. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Vase vase. An offer of a 2-way deal is being sent away.

    Hordichuck had nice things to say about Pitlick and said he’s more likely to have an NHL career on Bob’s show.

    Intimated that the Oilers should show him (Pitlick) a little love and NHL lifestyle for a couple weeks and they’d get a lot more out of him.

    Interesting either way.

    Think what you will about Hordichuck, but he has 542 career NHL games and probably knows a thing or two about the psychology of players.

  9. Lowetide says:

    WG: I know some people who know Hordichuk and he’s apparently a very smart guy. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he got a helluva lot out of his ability and over a number of years.

  10. Hammers says:

    Pushing Pitlick is like wishing on a star . Trouble is he isn’t a hockey star . If Nelson is told to play him in all situations we will know by Christmas at the latest . Someimes these kids need to be given enough rope to climb the mountain or hang themselves . I see Pitlick in exactly that position but do hope he can climb to the top .

  11. Numenius says:

    Slightly off topic, but I just looked at the Jets Penticton roster and compared it with ours. It was depressing.

    Of their forwards who played in the CHL last year (which they all did), they have 7 players with 65 or more points in roughly 65-72 games:
    1. Petan 120 (!)
    2. Lipon 89
    3. Lowry 88
    4. Scheifele 79 (in only 45 games)
    5. Verrier 75
    6. Lodge 67
    7. Kosmachuk 65

    We only have one CHL forward above 65:
    1. Roy 67
    Our remaining top 7 are:
    2. Houck 57
    3. Chase 49
    4. Petryk 40
    5. Moroz 34
    6. Ewanyk 23
    7. Platzer 22

    Now unlike them we do have an additional three top productive forwards outside the CHL (Miller, 37, 18-23-41 (NCAA); Khaira, 37, 6-19-25 (NCAA); and Fyten 46, 14-26-41 (ECHL)) and our defence is likely better, so we may have a chance. But we’re still lacking major skill up front.

    At least we can whack them with the fuckin’ stick.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: I know some people who know Hordichuk and he’s apparently a very smart guy. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he got a helluva lot out of his ability and over a number of years.

    I heard that too (about his intellect)

    Thing with Pitlick is that you can’t really point to one thing and say “THIS WHY HE/THEY HAVE FAILED SO FAR”

    -He was the consensus pick at 31 and rated higher, cant’ bitch about it
    -Moved leagues every year, was that it?
    -Injured in WHL, then AHL, so early in two years straight. This is probably a huge part. Big, big development years spent on his ass. Injuries are a bitch.

    Then he’s finally healthy and NHL lockout pushes him down way from the cherry minutes for half and year and struggles to recover

    I know we said it last year, but this is really the shit or get off the pot year for him.

    Lots of tools, but that’s no guarantee.

    JFJ had lots of tools too and way more success at the AHL level.

  13. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Sportsnet has 59/82 Oiler games

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/edmonton-oilers-broadcast-schedule/

    Is that more than usual for them?

    TSN has 10 (http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?id=29181).
    CBC has the other 13 (http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockeynightincanada/broadcast/).

    TSN is only airing 5 Winnipeg games (every other non-Montreal/Toronto Canadian team gets 10). Someone must hate the Jets!

  14. russ99 says:

    Pitlick is pretty much sink or swim this year.

    Gotta wonder if he was rushed to the AHL. His first year he played sheltered minutes and was in over his head, last year he came off that lengthy injury.

    If he’s going to step up it needs to be now.

    Also Hartikainen left because MacT told him in no uncertain terms that he’s not part of the plan this year at the NHL level.

    If I were a 23 year old European RFA with nothing left to prove at the AHL level and little chance of NHL icetime, I’d go to Russia too.

    Kind of ironic, seems he’s gotten the Omark cold-shoulder.

  15. supernova says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    It would have been a better boxcar season but he didn’t get the PP push.

    I saw Pitlick play a couple of times that season he was in the Hat and he seemed to be on the top PP unit. He was playing the left sideof the umbrella (his off wing, top of the circle), while Linden Vey — who won the scoring title — ran the show from centre point. I daresay Pitlick got a bunch of powerplay (second) assists, even if he didn’t score a whack of PPG.

    I watched Pitlick 30+ times that season with the Tigers. I would say he got spot duy on the top PP line that featured Vey. He was basically the 4th or 5th FWD that season and had a bit of time with Vey, and Etem but far from regular shifts.

    Every game that I went to as a Oilers Fan these were my basic thoughts.

    Pitlick- please play him Etem and that young skill guy Shinkaruk.
    Kessy- man I hope the oilers pick him up, this guy is something sort of crazy, if he ever makes the show, he is the 4th liner that gets circled by the competition. My nickname Torres Jr.

    Bunz- he seems really good, but has the Dubnyk symptom of letting in goals that shouldn’t go in. Wonder if he has mental lapses out there because seems to have skill.

    Watching Pitlick I have always felt he should have stayed another season in junior, he was less than impressive near the start of the season but after about 10 games you could see him start to get it, by the midpoint he started to look like a really good prospect.

    Then the injury

    Then the AHl

  16. Jonathan Willis says:

    Zona’s comment comparing Teubert to Pitlick seems apt, given that both players tend to take their shots from above the faceoff circle.

    I don’t think he’s a 2% guy, but he doesn’t have knack for releasing the puck from scoring areas.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    Zona’s comment comparing Teubert to Pitlick seems apt, given that both players tend to take their shots from above the faceoff circle.

    I don’t think he’s a 2% guy, but he doesn’t have knack for releasing the puck from scoring areas.

    Still, the 22 EV goals in Medicine Hat indicate some offensive potential. I know it’s becoming a distant bell, but there are things in his past that indicate he once had some ability in that area.

  18. Clay says:

    So if you’re ever short on time and need to get a blog post out LT, you could take this one, replace Tyler Pitlick’s name with either Curtis Hamilton’s or Ryan Martindale’s, and your new blog post would be 95% written.

    The excitement around that 2010 draft, not just in Hall, but in the three big skilled forwards taken after him, was palatable. It seemed impossible that all three would be duds, but here we are. At least Marincin is tracking well.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Clay:
    So if you’re ever short on time and need to get a blog post out LT, you could take this one, replace Tyler Pitlick’s name with either Curtis Hamilton’s or Ryan Martindale’s, and your new blog post would be 95% written.

    The excitement around that 2010 draft, not just in Hall, but in the three big skilled forwards taken after him, was palatable.It seemed impossible that all three would be duds, but here we are.At least Marincin is tracking well.

    Yeah, agreed. ALL of them seemed on track when they hit the outskirts of OKC, but man they haven’t pissed a drop.

  20. godot10 says:

    wheatnoil: Is that more than usual for them?

    TSN has 10 (http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?id=29181).
    CBC has the other 13 (http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockeynightincanada/broadcast/).

    TSN is only airing 5 Winnipeg games (every other non-Montreal/Toronto Canadian team gets 10). Someone must hate the Jets!

    TSN has a TSN Winnipeg local feed that does most of the Jets games. (a la Sportsnet Edmonton, when Sportsnet West is otherwise occupied).

    The Jets have two problems nationally. They are not a big market, and no national following yet, and they are in a funky time zone for national broadcasts.

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