If it weren’t for bad luck, Tyler Pitlick would have no luck at all. From knee to spleen and back again, the man has not been blessed with good health since turning pro. Make no mistake: He had issues as a prospect before the maladies but those health concerns didn’t help at all.
RE 14-15: 45GP, 3-7-10 .222
ACTUAL 14-15: 17GP, 2-0-2 .118
TYLER PITLICK BOXCARS
TYLER PITLICK FANCY NUMBERS
- The young man can’t stay healthy! Yeah, it’s too bad. He had a shot in the fall but couldn’t make the club, and then later a recall that might have been his chance to establish himself. A significant (spleen) injury derailed him again.
- His season started with the waiver wire. Yes. Pitlick was a bubble player and didn’t make the opening night lineup. MacT: “I think Tyler is at a position right now that we wish he would have been at a year or a year and a half ago. He’s turned himself into a professional. I think that it ended up with Tyler, as well as Pinizzotto, were two difficult decisions. It got down to a positional bias and I thought the 13th forward here would be best served by being a centreman and it was a risk I was willing to take.” Source
- Was he good in TC? I thought he was, yes. Pitlick always looks like a hockey player to me, the guy has good size and can hit too. The offense has been a concern in pro hockey but even there he had good AHL numbers when he was in OKC this season.
- What will the scouting reports and verbal tell Chiarelli about him? Pitlick scored well in his one season junior (22 EV goals) but he didn’t resemble anything close to a top 9F in the AHL before season three. Part of that had to do with injuries, and he does look like he can play a crash and bang style when he’s in the NHL, but the offense is really a concern. I think the general view on Pitlick from the organization was positive under MacTavish, no idea where we go from here.
- Does he get a one-way deal from Chiarelli for 15-16? The 50-man list gets a haircut every summer and the bubble boy this year (for me) is Pitlick. I’m not sure he survives, what with Iiro Pakarinen’s emergence and Rob Klinkhammer being signed for 2015-16. No bitching, Pitlick had his shot. It’s close, but I say they walk.
- Andrew Miller’s recent signing also impacts things. Not really.
- How so? Miller’s a skill guy, Pitlick is going to play on a checking line. Miller is going to be recalled if Eberle or Purcell or Yakupov get hurt. Pitlick’s competition is Pakarinen and Klinkhammer, etc. Different slots in the batting order.
- He doesn’t score much. It was an issue in the minors, but Pitlick scored 3-6-9 in 14 games this year. That’s a breakout number compared to his own past.
- Maybe he’s not getting a chance to play with skill? He actually played 54 minutes with Taylor Hall but the offense wasn’t there. Small sample size obviously, but Pitlick went 0-0-0 in those minutes while Hall gathered just one point (that’s not using No. 4 wisely).
- What should they do with him? Pitlick’s issue with the Oilers probably revolves around contract. He’s not going to get a one way—hasn’t earned it, as Anton Lander did last year—and there’s every chance he’d be Bakersfield bound in the fall. Would he accept a two-way deal? If he’s willing, then maybe it happens. I don’t think it’s close to a slam dunk.
- So, send him away? I’d probably offer him a two-way contract but the RW depth chart has Jordan Eberle, Teddy Purcell, Nail Yakupov, Rob Klinkhammer and Iiro Pakarinen in front of him, plus Andrew Miller and a guy like Greg Chase may also factor in before the new year. Pitlick’s role, should he return, is probably Bakersfield and then callup.
- He may want to get a second opinion? Something like that. Try his luck at another casino.
- Why this song? It’s about luck changing, about things not lasting forever. In Pitlick’s case, it’s about trouble no more. Starting now.
- As an Oiler? We’ll see. Peter Chiarelli has no ties to him and may want to bring in his own man.
- To replace Klinkhammer? It’s not a high bar.
- Pitlick couldn’t do it. It would help if he could stay healthy for an entire season, maybe he’ll surprise us some day.