Tyler Pitlick’s career progression has been a carousel—constant movement, and no time for stopping and settling in one place. His pro career began with three seasons (mostly) in Oklahoma City, but even at that he didn’t see the ice as much as he should have because of injury and ineffective play. It won’t matter much if he makes it, and ‘making it’ is pretty important this fall.
TYLER PITLICK 13-14
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.68 (13th among forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: nil
- Qual Comp: 14th toughest competition among regulars (fourth line)
- Qual Team: 12th best competition among regulars (third line)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 41.5
- Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -2.9
- Zone Start: 23% (3rd toughest on the team among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 9 shots/11.1% (4th among forwards with more than 5 shots)
- Boxcars: 10GP, 1-0-1
VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI REL)
RE 13-14 REVIEW
||TYLER PITLICK OKC RE 13-14
||TYLER PITLICK OKC ACTUAL 13-14
RE 14-15 PREVIEW
||TYLER PITLICK RE 14-15
- So, he finally arrives? Pitlick probably plays more in the NHL a year ago without the injury. I think Dallas Eakins likes what he brings, and possibly sees a useful player.
- Eakins noticed him? Right from the beginning. 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.”
- If he doesn’t make it, what will be the culprit? Goal-scoring ability. Pitlick is not an offensive impact player at any pro level.
- 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. At the pro level, he has 11 goals in his last 83 AHL games. That’s exactly the same number as Curtis Hamilton in the same number of games. These are poor totals for a legit forward prospect looking for NHL employment.
- Is he a power forward? No. I asked Jim Byers several times and he suggested that Pitlick (6.02, 193) has a physical presence and can hit people, but we shouldn’t be expecting a power-forward type.
- Any good news from that small NHL sample size? His Corsi for 5×5% isn’t great, but considering the zone start it’s reasonable for a rookie. I’m not saying he’s a player, but there’s some positive indicators here.
- He’s always looked like a player. Yes, he has. He’s a ‘saw him good’ dream, this Pitlick fellow. His goal was nice, driving down the wing and bam! A nice preview of coming attractions, even if it only happens 12 times a year. If that happens.
- Can he be that 4line RW for the Gordon-Hendricks line? I thought MacT would get a Winnik for his coach, but instead the battle for 11-12F will come down to Pitlick, Joensuu, Hendricks, Lander, Gazdic, Pinizzotto, Pakarinen and anyone else who plays well enough to get consideration.
- Surely Hendricks is a lock. Well, that’s not necessarily true. If the Oilers need some cap space, the Hendricks role (which I see as being extreme zone start 4line veteran winger) may fall to a younger, less expensive option.
- Seriously? Oh yeah, for sure.
- Hendricks has no value! You know, veteran players have value. Hendricks can do some things and is a well-respected player. However, he makes full bore and more for his ability, so that’s an area Edmonton could slice.
- Who replaces him? Maybe Lander, maybe someone not currently in the organization. I’m not saying it will happen, but it could.
- So, a 4line of Lander-Gordon-Pitlick? Maybe. I’m not absolutely convinced Gordon is on the 4line, it might be a 3line of Pouliot-Gordon-Purcell for many nights this coming season. Leaving a 4line of Hendricks-Arcobello-Pitlick or something similar.
- Is this a make or break season for Pitlick’s Oilers career? It’s pretty important.
- If he plays 45 games in the NHL, do they re-sign him? Depending on performance, yes I think so.
- He’ll never be what they thought they were getting. How so? Role players and checkers are former junior and college scorers. This isn’t terribly different than the Ethan Moreau story, save for draft number. Pitlick’s progress has meandered and his role has been altered, but that’s part of growing up and finding your way.
- The circle game? Yes. It’s part of what we all go through as young people. The dreams you have carry you to a new day, and perhaps it doesn’t look exactly as planned but it’s your story, you own it. It’s authentic.
- How many times have you heard this song? Many times, this song and others like it from the folk era. If you grew up in Canada during the 1960s, The Circle Game and Canadian Railroad Trilogy (Lightfoot) and many others are embedded in your brain. I watched Singalong Jubilee all the time, most Canadian kids from my era did, too. Lots of songs Canadian kids would remember well but are obscure today. Lightfoot was on all the time, Guess Who had their own show from Winnipeg.
- Was this his best pro season? Oh sure, you bet. Some real hope now. There were some trying times, though. 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.”
- I’ve heard people say Pitlick and Hamilton’s progress was harmed by lack of playing time. Do you agree? Not really, no. I think coach Todd Nelson’s job is to make these kids earn playing time, and if they don’t well that’s on them. If you look back on MacT’s coaching career, a lot of Pisani’s passed a lot of Rita’s on the way to the NHL. You have to hold people accountable, and giving at-bats to those undeserving is a fool’s game. If Teemu Hartikainen was the better player, then play the man. And Nelson did in fact play his best options. Pitlick and Hamilton still have a chance, and would be farther along if they’d remained healthy. I have a hard time demonizing the coach on this one.