#15 PROSPECT: TYLER PITLICK

Until this season, you couldn’t find 50 good words on the internet about Tyler Pitlick in the AHL. Injuries and lack of scoring suggested there wasn’t much there, despite Pitlick’s ranking as one of the 30 best players available in the 2010 entry draft.

PREVIOUSLY NUMBER FIFTEEN ON THE LIST

  • December 2004: R Troy Bodie
  • December 2005: R Colin McDonald
  • December 2006: D Jeff Petry
  • December 2007: R Colin McDonald
  • December 2008: G Devan Dubnyk
  • December 2009: D Alex Plante
  • December 2010: G Olivier Roy
  • December 2011: D Brandon Davidson
  • December 2012: D Joey Laleggia

Some nice players here, and they were late-developing 1st (Dubnyk) and 2nd (McDonald) prospects along with Jeff Petry who I misjudged all down the line (and Bodie who arrived late, too). Recent years have been dull at #15, with Dubnyk in 2008 being the last player to make the NHL as a regular from this list (although McDonald was technically after Dubnyk).

WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY

  • pitlick1Redline: 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. Projection – Versatile 3rd line checker who chips in on “O” Style compares to: Max Pacioretty.
  • 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.

TYLER PITLICK POINTS, BY DISCIPLINE

PLAYER EV PP PK TOTAL
TYLER PITLICK 2011-12 AHL 62, 4-13-17 .274 62, 3-3-6 .097 62, 0-0-0 62, 7-16-23 .371
TYLER PITLICK 2012-13 AHL 44, 3-7-10 .227 44, 0-0-0 .000 44, 0-0-0 44, 3-7-10 .227
TYLER PITLICK 2013-14 AHL 7, 0-1-1 .143 7, 0-1-1 .143 7, 1-0-1 7, 1-2-3 .429

We don’t know the time on ice totals per year, but I don’t think (based on the verbal at the time) that Pitlick ever got to a point where we would have considered him a top 6 forward option. The club did talk about using him in that role, but it never took.

  • Coach Todd Nelson, pre-season fall 2012: 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.

It never came. Injuries and the NHL kids grabbed all those minutes and Pitlick’s second season must have been frustrating for everyone. Still, the club had invested a second round pick on him, and that has value. The big season for Pitlick would be 2013-14, the final season of his entry level deal. He also needed better luck.

  • Zona in February: 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.

PREVIOUS TOP 20 RANKING

  • Summer 2010: 4
  • Winter 2010: 7
  • Summer 2011: 10
  • Winter 2011: 9
  • Summer 2012: 11
  • Winter 2012: 9
  • Summer 2013: 24
  • Winter 2013: 15

It’s been a long and winding road since 2010 summer for Pitlick, and for the fanbase. If this pick could work out—if Pitlick could play a third line role and score 15 goals—that would represent a big piece of the remaining puzzle. His size, shot and speed make him an interesting prospect and there’s still plenty of time, but the Oilers badly needed to see some signs of progress this season.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING THIS SEASON

  • pitlick31-600x360Eric Rodgers: “his improvement from last season has been the most marked I’ve seen so far.”
  • Dallas Eakins in pre-season: “I keep trying to send him down and he keeps playing like that. Every time I turned around he was running into somebody. I grabbed him after the second period and asked him if he wanted to play in the NHL because if he keeps playing like that, it won’t be too long until he is. He needs to keep the fire lit and he bought himself another game tomorrow.”
  • Tyler Pitlick: “I went from highest of highs, scoring my first NHL goal, to a torn ACL. It was tough mentally to take that. But those things happen, you just have to stick with it. We still have lots of season left and hopefully I can come back and start off where I left off.”

ETA PITLICK

Pitlick’s recovery has been very good, to the point where he may be cleared to play soon. Once that question is answered, we next have to evaluate whether or not he can fill a role in the NHL. I don’t think we have the answer, even after all of these years. Zona’s point above about shooting percentage has to be answered, we need to find out if he can go 20 feet without getting hurt and we’ve never really known how much playing time he’s been getting as a player.

His 5×5/60 is 2.05 as a rookie, but that’s a goal in 29 minutes and that might be the only goal he ever scores. His shooting percentage is in the AHL ditch but he’s scored 1 goal in three shots with the Oilers.

Many, many people have told me he looks like a player and he showed well in his 3 NHL games before the injury. Until he can show that over a full season, and maintain health, I don’t think anyone can suggest Tyler Pitlick is more than a long shot.

I’m pleased he made it, if only for three games. I’m hopeful he plays a decade and then some. I know of no good way to predict either.

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43 Responses to "#15 PROSPECT: TYLER PITLICK"

  1. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Dee Ess Eff didn’t drop by to post this so here’s all the OVER ppg players with at least 10 games:

    1 Sidney Crosby 1.37
    2 Steven Stamkos 1.35
    3 Evgeni Malkin 1.28
    4 James Neal 1.27
    5 Ryan Getzlaf 1.19
    6 Alexander Steen 1.19
    7 Alex Ovechkin 1.15
    8 Joe Thornton 1.11
    9 John Tavares 1.10
    10 Patrick Kane 1.10
    11 Henrik Zetterberg 1.07
    12 Taylor Hall 1.04
    13 Corey Perry 1.03

    And David Perron is tied with Tyler Seguin at .93

  2. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Pitlick “looked” like a player through pre-season and in his few NHL games.

    He “looked” a lot like someone who could play on the 4th line, keep his head above water and worm his way into the top 9 as needed.

    It was a real moment of clarity, where this player you keep hearing things about and only seeing boxcars finally emerged in front of us… it was a good thing.

    That said, I’m fully prepared for his “looking” like a player to be a mirage. Fully prepared. I’m also fully prepared for him to have his foot broken by a rig in a parking lot ruining his career forever, because Oilers.

  3. Logan91 says:

    This kids poor knees, every year it’s the same thing.

    Can’t imagine how discouraging that would be, but good on him for coming back from it every time.

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Drouin with a concussion.

    http://www.tsn.ca/chl/story/?id=438382

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Can’t find a link tonight, but it looks like Brossoit is off to a rough start. down 2-0 on 5 shots against 7 minutes in.

    http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011429

  6. Woodguy says:

    This kid brings what you need in a 4th liner.

    Youth, speed, ability to hit, and some offense.

    He looked good in his first 3 NHL games.

    This guy might be a player.

    4th line full of kids who want desperately to play up the roster is ideal.

    I got a lot of hopes tied up in him.

    I think he’ll deliver.

  7. VanOil says:

    Woodguy:
    4th line full of kids who want desperately to play up the roster is ideal.

    Quoted for truthyness

    To bad Pitlick is a great example of the typical Oilers development path. Which I believe to be a clown car driven through an emergency ward by a Shriner on acid.

  8. iHockeyWpg says:

    Nurse with 2 assists. OKC down 3-0

  9. Lowetide says:

    VanOil: Quoted for truthyness

    To bad Pitlick is a great example of the typical Oilers development path. Which I believe to be a clown car driven through an emergency ward by a Shriner on acid.

    Haha. The recent kind was Mathieu Roy, that guy never met a set of boards he hadn’t run into awkwardly.

  10. VanOil says:

    Sending a pissed off and embarrassed hockey team down to Calgary tonight to soften up the Flames for tomorrow night was well done. Too bad the red devils just scored.

  11. Thinker says:

    Who’s on save percentages over at the barons site. I can’t even figure out where they went wrong. Calculator in Full Retard mode perhaps.
    http://www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?FA=roster&RA=showDetail&AHLID=4961

  12. VOR says:

    I get the link below is very long. Can’t seem to fix that. However, it is a very interesting article about a new way of diagnosing brain injury in living brains. Could revolutionize management of concussions.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/522126/identifying-signs-of-chronic-brain-injury-in-living-football-players/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20131206

  13. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Haha. The recent kind was Mathieu Roy, that guy never met a set of boards he hadn’t run into awkwardly.

    So the Oilers have their replacement for Smid for “player most likely to injure themselves”

    That’s just swell!

  14. Woodguy says:

    Thinker:
    Who’s on save percentages over at the barons site. I can’t even figure out where they went wrong. Calculator in Full Retard mode perhaps.
    http://www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?FA=roster&RA=showDetail&AHLID=4961

    I read on twitter that Brossoit let in 4 straight shots.

    Lordy.

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: I read on twitter that Brossoit let in 4 straight shots.

    Lordy.

    That’s not the case. Not straight.

    http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011429

    Too many shots and they are too far apart for that to make sense. He’s not having a good game though. Didn’t last game either IIRC.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Really concerning though is this:

    OKC down 2 going into the second… score effects lead to this: shots 21-4 Admirals, and they score 2 more.

    OKC was down 2, then 3 and 4 and only managed 4 shots against…. rough night.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    It just occurred to me watching this Flames-Avs game that Cliche’s name is cliche. I have no idea how I missed that last night.

    How did Gene drop the ball on that? It’s not even a pun on the guy’s name, it’s just his name.

  18. G Money says:

    VOR: I get the link below is very long. Can’t seem to fix that.

    http://goo.gl/ZVbi6f

    Fixed. :-)

  19. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Really concerning though is this:

    OKC down 2 going into the second… score effects lead to this: shots 21-4 Admirals, and they score 2 more.

    OKC was down 2, then 3 and 4 and only managed 4 shots against…. rough night.

    Their scoring line is Omark.

    That’s it.

    Rishaug was going on about how Dmen in OKC aren’t racking up points this year.

    I pointed out that unless they are passing to Omark or Lander, they might as well ice it.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    It just occurred to me watching this Flames-Avs game that Cliche’s name is cliche. I have no idea how I missed that last night.

    How did Gene drop the ball on that? It’s not even a pun on the guy’s name, it’s just his name.

    Gene doesn’t take the low hanging fruit.

    ….ha!………

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: I pointed out that unless they are passing to Omark or Lander, they might as well ice it.

    What, Nesbitt isn’t going to bury it?

    There’s never been a better time for C. Hamilton and Martindale to step up… looks like it may be beyond them…

    And, how the hell did R. Hamilton manage 30 AHL goals last season? He currently only has 10 shots in 12 games…. less than a shot a game.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Looks like they put Rimmer in. 11 shots, 11 saves in the second.

    Anyone know why Marco Roy didn’t play tonight?

    http://www.theqmjhl.ca/schedule/show/game/64950

  23. Caramel Obvious says:

    Woodguy: Their scoring line is Omark.

    That’s it.

    Rishaug was going on about how Dmen in OKC aren’t racking up points this year.

    I pointed out that unless they are passing to Omark or Lander, they might as well ice it.

    It really is remarkable how many points Omark has put up with the quality of teammates he’s been saddled with. But that guy can’t play at all. I’ll be a happy man when the NHL realizes that a player like Omark is better than 40% of the forwards in the NHL.

  24. jp says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: That’s not the case. Not straight.

    http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011429

    Too many shots and they are too far apart for that to make sense. He’s not having a good game though. Didn’t last game either IIRC.

    23 shots against in 26.5 min. Tough night, but you gotta figure there were some grade A chances at almost a shot a minute. Not a pretty game for the Barons.

    Thinker:
    Who’s on save percentages over at the barons site. I can’t even figure out where they went wrong. Calculator in Full Retard mode perhaps.
    http://www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?FA=roster&RA=showDetail&AHLID=4961

    Are those numbers good? I can’t tell!!

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Houck isn’t playing tonight either:

    http://www.whl.ca/schedule/show/game/65733

    what’s going on?!

    is it rest Oiler prospects night?

  26. jp says:

    Woodguy:
    This kid brings what you need in a 4th liner.

    Youth, speed, ability to hit, and some offense.

    He looked good in his first 3 NHL games.

    This guy might be a player.

    4th line full of kids who want desperately to play up the roster is ideal.

    I got a lot of hopes tied up in him.

    I think he’ll deliver.

    Agreed, but I think Rom is right, expectations shouldn’t be too high. He might be able to keep doing what he did for 2+ games (and TC) and be a useful 4th/3rd liner. Or he might never score again and end up a career AHL 3rd liner. We’re all hoping for the former, but I wouldn’t put the chances of that at better than 50%, and that’s even being generous.

  27. jp says:

    A comeback underway? http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011429
    Not likely, but the Barons have it at 4-2 with 7:30 left.

    Edit: Now 5-2…

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Now 4-2

    Omark
    Hunt (Miller, Stretch)

  29. VOR says:

    Thanks GMoney.

  30. Caramel Obvious says:

    So I’m bored tonight so I started looking through extra skater to find players whose underlying stats (Fenwick and relFenwick in the context of zone starts) might not matchup with +/- to see what kind of players might not be fully appreciated by their teams.

    Undervalued players:

    Christian Erhoff (the Sabres are truly horrific, outshot basically every game this year, and yet Ehrhoff is holding his own)
    Jake Gardiner
    Blake Comeau
    Brandon Dubinsky (shot metrics love him and always have)
    Ron Hainsey

    Incidentally if you do this for the Oilers looking at only the numbers and forgetting all you’ve seen the guy who really shows nicely is Mark Arcobello.

    The other thing that really jumps out is that Eakins pushes zone starts match ups more than almost any coach in the league.

  31. supernova says:

    I lived in Medicine Hat when Pitlick played for the WHL team.

    On that team there where a number of players of interest on the NHL path.

    Pitlick, linden vey, Emerson Etem, hunter Shinkaruk, Tyler bunz, kale Kessy also a few other notables.

    now I am no scout (I have a ton of respects for scouts, I think it is a incredibly difficult job) but I have watched a lot of WHL hockey as well as AHL hockey, and a lot of NHL hockey.

    Pitlick started slow but definitely gained a lot of steam that season, to the point he looked like a can’t miss prospect. If I was to estimate a level of player I would have pegged Pitlick as a 3rd line winger.

    I really think his development was hurt by moving up the AHL before he should have ( I said this then on this blog and ON). Pitlick seemed to have taken 2 years to get back to where he should have been draft year plus 1.

    But I will continue to cheer hard for this player much like I did after watching kyle Brodziak in junior and then the AHL. Different players but very hopeful it works out the same way.

  32. supernova says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Decent list,

    Would love to have Dubinsky but don’t think CBJ would trade him, they value him greatly.

  33. Hammers says:

    Would like to see him Pitlick ,stay but my gut says his a throw in for McT’s next trade .. it’s bad when my 40 + year old sons say they give up on this team . Supported them since they could skate but me thinks Katz is loosing the next generation and there kids as well . Everyone is fed up saying next year. you can only take it for so long. They seem happy with 7 and 8 goal games but don’t seem to realize playing well every 4-5 games gets you nowhere . Lowe screwed up but mainly by hiring Tambellini who was passed over twice in Vancouver . His probably staying as is McT but this group doesn’t seem to be a team . Sad but true .

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    supernova: I really think his development was hurt by moving up the AHL before he should have ( I said this then on this blog and ON). Pitlick seemed to have taken 2 years to get back to where he should have been draft year plus 1.

    Pitlick has one of the least straight arrows possible:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=123515

    College, then jr., then AHL… switching leagues, coaches and positions along the way. Add in the ream of injuries and the deck has been stacked against him since draft day.

    It’s astonishing he is able to wake up and recognize familiar surroundings.

  35. PerryK says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
      Anyone know why Marco Roy didn’t play tonight?
    http://www.theqmjhl.ca/schedule/show/game/64950

    Marco Roy has a concussion, apparently. Out for approximately 1 month.

  36. DeadmanWaking says:

    VOR:
    I get the link below is very long. Can’t seem to fix that. However, it is a very interesting article about a new way of diagnosing brain injury in living brains. Could revolutionize management of concussions.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/522126/identifying-signs-of-chronic-brain-injury-in-living-football-players/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20131206

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/522126/identifying-signs-of-chronic-brain-injury-in-living-football-players/?utm_content=20131206

    It’s considered bad URL design to have the resource designator after the ? mark. But only the last element turns out to be crucial. I guessed right on the first attempt.

    I use a Firefox add-on called Make Link. I just select the page title with my mouse, then right click into a context menu, go into the Make Link sub-menu and select the HTML link style, which transfers it to my clipboard ready to go.

    I have custom items in my Make Link item for any format I ever paste a link into. You can set it up to just grab the HTML page title without having to select the URL text, but so many web sites give their pages weird titles, I never bother with this.

    One more thing: the fastest mouse operation to selection a string of words is to double-click in the middle of the first word (either end works as a starting point) then drag. This selects whole words only (punctuation marks count as whole words, which is annoying when the last item is a punctuation mark, because then you’re back to fine motor control).

    The only thing that pisses me off is that Firefox has no way to disable following links, so if you need to select link text (typical) you can’t just double-click to start the word selection mode. Many sites also turn their page titles into graphic elements, which bites. Just the ASCII, ma’am. Often the title appears elsewhere on the page in textual format, if only as part of the FBI warning or sundry chilling effect.

    There is actually a bug report on file against Firefox for having some bad interactions between textual selection and following links (with following links almost always winning the battle).

    The developers agreed that it sucked, but it didn’t seem queued up to go anywhere. Not a priority, apparently.

    I don’t mind using obscure FF plug-ins to fix these behaviours (sometimes I scan the scripts myself to see that they look legitimate). What I do mind is that just when I get some add-on properly tweaked up, the developer ceases to maintain it, then a month later Firefox updates and breaks it, so I’ve become jaundiced about the fringe fiddles.

    PS: My mouse goes about a yard to the mouse pad inch (multiple screens). Selecting a ? mark involves a movement about 1/4 mm.

  37. DeadmanWaking says:

    I meant a foot to the inch. My edit made it under the bar by 3s.

  38. DeadmanWaking says:

    It’s obvious–I hope–that the double click drag involves not releasing the mouse after the second click. I got this tip from the gadget guy on the NY Times some while ago. Started using the same day, and now use it all day long.

    There’s also a triple-click drag in most browsers. Don’t use this much. It seems to select entire paragraphs or blocks.

    I tend to do large text selections by double clicking the first element with the mouse then extending the selection with keyboard navigation (end, home, ctrl-end, pg-dn, etc.) while holding the shift key down the whole time (which maintains the selected region while walking around).

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    PerryK: Marco Roy has a concussion, apparently.Out for approximately 1 month.

    Well, that is terrible, terrible news.

    How did they get that timeline down? Have you got a link?

  40. PerryK says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    http://www.armadahockey.ca/article/l-armada-aux-prises-avec-les-blessures/154490

    That is what I gathered with the help of google translate from the above article.

  41. hunter1909 says:

    Flames foolishly playing hard tonight, giving the young Oilers practice for the California road trip.

  42. supernova says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Pitlick has one of the least straight arrows possible:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=123515

    College, then jr., then AHL… switching leagues, coaches and positions along the way. Add in the ream of injuries and the deck has been stacked against him since draft day.

    It’s astonishing he is able to wake up and recognize familiar surroundings.

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Definitely agree, I was hoping then that the oilers would keep him in Medicine Hat. It is such an important age when the body and mind are going through a maturing process let alone changing leagues and cities.

    Jujhar Khaira needs to stay this year and next year in the whl. I seriously doubt the oilers do this but he needs to dominate before he moves on. Look at his locales Prince George, houghton Michigan, Everett. Tons of change off the ice, let alone on it.

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