You Gotta Have Hart(ikainen)

Lowetide
March 01 2011 05:40PM

The deadline deal that sent Dustin Penner away and brought Colton Teubert to the Oilers organization has a ripple effect throughout the roster and beyond. Good news for some.

Teemu Hartikainen has had an excellent season in Oklahoma City. The big 20-year old Finn started slowly and then kicked into another gear this season. Here are his numbers by month:

  • Oct: 12gp, 4-1-5 (.417) -8
  • Nov: 11gp, 3-3-6 (.545) -3
  • Dec: 12gp, 3-4-7 (.583) +2
  • Jan: 15gp, 4-10-14 (.933) +8
  • Feb: 10gp, 2-2-4 (.400) -3

His January numbers were very good and around that time we started discussing the possibility of his being recalled to the big club. A "cup of coffee" in the NHL might help the young Finn ready himself for the fall and there is an opening at the big league level with Dustin Penner out the door. He's big, has a nice range of skills and has done more in the second half than the first. Arrows going in the right direction.

Will Hartikainen get a look at the NHL level before season's end? Maybe. Either way, the LW depth chart as it stands for 11-12 would appear to have some holes:

  1. Taylor Hall (25-30 goal man)
  2. Magnus Pääjärvi (he'll get his chance)
  3. Ryan Jones (will he be back?)
  4. JF Jacques (will he be back?)
  5. Liam Reddox (will he be back?)
  6. Teemu Hartikainen (AHL prospect)
  7. Phil Cornet (AHL prospect)

Curtis Hamilton may turn pro this coming fall, but it looks like there's a window of opportunity to the big Finn. If Ryan Jones doesn't sign (and you know he will) then the opportunity is huge. Even with that, a 4th line role seems like a reasonable possibility.

OFFENSE

Can the kid deliver enough offense? He compares well against the last number of 20-year old AHL players in the Oiler system:

  1. Rob Schremp (06-07 SWB Penguins) 69gp, 17-36-53 .768ppg
  2. Jarret Stoll (02-03 Hamilton Bulldogs) 76gp, 21-33-54 .711ppg
  3. Marc Pouliot (05-06 Hamilton Bulldogs) 65gp, 15-30-45 .692ppg
  4. Jean Francois Jacques (05-06 Hamilton Bulldogs) 65gp, 24-20-44 .677ppg
  5. Teemu Hartikainen (10-11 OKC Barons) 60gp, 16-20-36 .600ppg
  6. Kyle Brodziak (04-05 Edmonton Roadrunners) 56gp, 6-26-32 .571ppg
  7. Jani Rita (01-02 Hamilton Bulldgos) 76gp, 25-17-42 .553ppg
  8. Slava Trukhno (07-08 Springfield Falcons) 64gp, 14-21-35 .547ppg
  9. Ryan O'Marra (07-08 Springfield Falcons) 31gp, 2-7-9 .290ppg
  10. Zack Stortini (05-06 Iowa/Milwaukee) 64gp, 2-8-10 .156ppg

Pouliot and Jacques had injury problems and were lost along the way, and Schremp remains an enigma. From the list, Stoll and Brodziak stand as useful NHL players. Part of the reason is their wide range of skills and that should bode well for Hartikainen. He's a big kid who can stand in front of the net on the PP and work like a demon along the wall.

He could be here soon.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Slenster
March 01 2011, 05:44PM
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FIST! yeah!

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#2 oilbaron
March 01 2011, 05:47PM
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doh!

i just hope he doesnt skate with his head down like that all the time, cause his time up here could get pretty ugly ;)

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#3 MattL
March 01 2011, 05:54PM
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Well he's no JF Jacques, but he's got good comparables with Jani Rita.

Usually when you say, "...shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentece as MA Pouliot" it's a good thing.

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#4 fuck off
March 01 2011, 06:22PM
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I loved Hartikienen during rookie camp and a little less for main training camp.

LT: What do you think was his main short coming that kept him from moving up the depth chart sooner?

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#6 Oilcruzer
March 01 2011, 06:27PM
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oilbaron wrote:

doh!

i just hope he doesnt skate with his head down like that all the time, cause his time up here could get pretty ugly ;)

When I saw that picture, that's the very first thing that popped into my head too.

A shoulder might be popping into his.

This is the time to call everyone up. Rest the starters for the playoff run (in 2012)

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#7 Quicksilver ballet
March 01 2011, 06:29PM
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C'mon in kid, we have a 4-6 yr window, no pressure here.

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#8 Suntory Hanzo
March 01 2011, 08:58PM
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Saw him in Abbotsford play the Heat. I thought he was one of (if not) the best players on the ice. If only you could put Petry's skating in him. I didn't thinkof him as slow...Plante has that in the bag..but he isn't fast either. He has a lot of grit - not afraid of anything and goes to the net hard. I guess I "Saw him good" for one game :)

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#10 robinrussia
March 01 2011, 09:26PM
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I hope to see him next year in the NHL. He's too important to OK this year with their playoff push.

I expect Linus, Chorney, Reddox will be sent down for at least a day so they can be on the clear day roster. Petiot, Gerber should be gone by then.

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#11 Randall Shermer
March 02 2011, 12:32AM
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So two Finns, two Don Cherry pansies and a third Euro Cherry (Trukhno should just give up now), plus a slew of the Good Canadians, and he comes out top of the non-Canadians at this point. Would be an interesting case study if gets called and brings along more offence than Jacques.

I'm sure January totally can't be an anomaly.

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Arrows in the right direction? Looks like he had a brutal February.

How has he's two-way game been? Because outside of him getting a look on the 4th line I don't know that he gets a call to come play an offensive role on this club this year.

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#13 knee deep in it
March 02 2011, 08:42AM
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this summers' ufa list is tragically poor. The cap is going up and there ain't much to spend it on. Someone is going to overpay for Glencross and guys like Jones.

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#14 misfit
March 02 2011, 11:05AM
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With Jones being able to play both wings, and Reddox with the ability to slide in at center, even if they're both kept on for next year, it could still put Hartikainen in the NHL for the 2011/12 season. Especially if they don't bring back Jacques.

That said, I hope the Oilers take a run at Upshall in the offseason to really solidify that LW. He's probably as good a 3rd line LW as you can ask for, but he's also able to jump into the top 6 if you get an injury or a sophomore slump from one of Hall/Paajarvi.

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#15 Metal&Oil
March 02 2011, 12:44PM
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I think Hartikainen is progressing very nicely and is an underrated asset in the Oilers system. He is looking like a steal with him being a 6th round pick.

Being named AHL rookie of the month in January would defiantly point to his arrows going in the upwards direction.

From what I hear ( http://www.okchockey.com/showthread.php?2167-Teemu-Hartikainen-s-progression ) Teemu possesses a tremendous forcheck, and can chip in offensively in a 3rd or fourth line role. Impressively enough he is producing ( 10th amoung rookies in AHL point scoring) despite playing with not the most offensively minded linemates down in OKC.

I am all for giving Teemu an eye opening few games in the bigs this year followed by about 20 games(provided he earns it) next season and then giving him NHL games based on his performance from then on out.

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