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:
- Taylor Hall (25-30 goal man)
- Magnus Pääjärvi (he'll get his chance)
- Ryan Jones (will he be back?)
- JF Jacques (will he be back?)
- Liam Reddox (will he be back?)
- Teemu Hartikainen (AHL prospect)
- 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.
Can the kid deliver enough offense? He compares well against the last number of 20-year old AHL players in the Oiler system:
- Rob Schremp (06-07 SWB Penguins) 69gp, 17-36-53 .768ppg
- Jarret Stoll (02-03 Hamilton Bulldogs) 76gp, 21-33-54 .711ppg
- Marc Pouliot (05-06 Hamilton Bulldogs) 65gp, 15-30-45 .692ppg
- Jean Francois Jacques (05-06 Hamilton Bulldogs) 65gp, 24-20-44 .677ppg
- Teemu Hartikainen (10-11 OKC Barons) 60gp, 16-20-36 .600ppg
- Kyle Brodziak (04-05 Edmonton Roadrunners) 56gp, 6-26-32 .571ppg
- Jani Rita (01-02 Hamilton Bulldgos) 76gp, 25-17-42 .553ppg
- Slava Trukhno (07-08 Springfield Falcons) 64gp, 14-21-35 .547ppg
- Ryan O'Marra (07-08 Springfield Falcons) 31gp, 2-7-9 .290ppg
- 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.