LEFT WING LOCK?

Lowetide
September 15 2012 04:49PM

In the life and times of a hockey prospect, there are opportunities and then there are OPPORTUNITIES. For Teemu Hartikainen, this fall and winter in Oklahoma could be the springboard for an NHL career.

COMPETITION

The Edmonton Oilers sent down their kids today as the prepare for the lockout. The list is a knockout:

  1. Cameron Abney
  2. Mark Arcobello
  3. Tyler Bunz
  4. Dane Byers
  5. Philippe Cornet
  6. Yann Danis
  7. Brandon Davidson
  8. Jordan Eberle
  9. Taylor Fedun
  10. Curtis Hamilton
  11. Teemu Hartikainen
  12. Tanner House
  13. Anton Lander
  14. Martin Marincin
  15. Ryan Martindale
  16. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  17. Magnus Paajarvi
  18. Kristians Pelss
  19. Tyler Pitlick
  20. Alex Plante
  21. Toni Rajala
  22. Olivier Roy
  23. Justin Schultz
  24. Colten Teubert
  25. Antti Tyrvainen
  26. Chris VandeVelde

LEFT WINGERS

The cool job for Barons wingers will be the L slot beside the Nuge and Eberle on the 'hero' line. Although Hartikainen will have competition for the position--Magnus Paajarvi is a potential match and Phil Cornet has skill--there are reasons why Hartikainen should probably be considered the front runner.

First, Paajarvi is likely to be paired with countryman Anton Lander on a line. They're familiar with each other and there's a chance the duo will one day form the nucleus of a 2-way 3rd line in Edmonton. Dane Byers is another LW option and he has experience, size and a mean streak--all things coach Todd Nelson might want to place on the portside with the two franchise forwards. Cornet--despite a strong year in 11-12--is unlikely to be an NHL regular during the 'teens.

Hartikainen's skill set, which includes size, hitting and some skill, dovetails nicely and gives the Oilers a chance to find chem with a guy who could be around for many years with the NHL team.

REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS

In the AHL, Hartikainen has averaged .632 points-per-game. If he plays much of the season with Nuge-Ebs, who are two guys who should post north of a point-per-game, I think something close to that level is reasonable. Hartikainen's seasons:

  • (age 20) 66, 17-25-42 .636
  • (age 21) 51, 14-18-32 .627

I'd peg Hartikainen's RE at about 60, 20-30-50 .833 allowing for the improved AHL (some of the names playing in the minors this season will rival the Spezza-Parise bunch from the last Bettman winter) and for Hartikainen's linemates.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Opportunity rarely knocks like this: Teemu Hartikainen is a notorious slow starter, but must find a way to establish himself as the best available LW option for the Nuge-Eberle duo. If he does that, he might just find his ticket punched when the lockout ends and the NHL goes back to work.

I doubt he gets this kind of opportunity again.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 yawto
September 15 2012, 04:53PM
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Hopefully hartski takes the fist steps to being a regular nhler when ever the season does start.

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#2 eastcoastoil
September 15 2012, 05:07PM
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LT, Is Eberle actually going down? Does he have option in it?

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#3 freeze
September 15 2012, 05:25PM
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I wonder why Hartski starts so slow every year. Any rumblings about his commitment to fitness and conditioning?

Hopefully SNW gets some Baron games on right away!

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#4 striatic
September 15 2012, 05:42PM
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eastcoastoil wrote:

LT, Is Eberle actually going down? Does he have option in it?

via @dantencer

"Jordan Eberle talked about playing in the AHL during a lockout. He still hasn't ruled out Europe, but says AHL would be an OK fit for a bit."

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#6 Wanyes bastard child
September 15 2012, 05:45PM
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@freeze

I heard he's the first off the ice after every practice...

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#7 madjam
September 15 2012, 06:06PM
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Martindale could/might center Eberle and Hopkins for a trial period . Teubert should make big strides this year . Marincin could surprise and Musil if he goes down . Cornet keeps improving . Paajarvi will find time with Hop and Ebbs no doubt .

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#8 Yakman1619
September 15 2012, 06:27PM
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What's up with Hall?

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#10 @Oilanderp
September 15 2012, 11:37PM
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Poor Ebs, having to scrape by on 60k or whatever he'll make down there...

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#11 Bwilks
September 16 2012, 10:59AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Poor Ebs, having to scrape by on 60k or whatever he'll make down there...

Buddy your kidding right? He was only making whl wages three years ago now he will be making AHL wage. On top of that ATB doesn't pay pennies for his commercial. Dude you gotta stop hating on pro athletes

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#12 Spydyr
September 16 2012, 11:21AM
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I'm more worried about some Ogie Ogilthorpe type player running the kids.So he get get his 15 minutes of fame.

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#13 Wanyes bastard child
September 16 2012, 12:26PM
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@Bwilks

Dude you gotta adjust your sarcasm detector...

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#14 Wäx Män Riley
September 16 2012, 11:10PM
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Bwilks wrote:

Buddy your kidding right? He was only making whl wages three years ago now he will be making AHL wage. On top of that ATB doesn't pay pennies for his commercial. Dude you gotta stop hating on pro athletes

It IS tough.

The dude only made 1.75 MILLION dollars last year.

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#15 NewAgeSys
September 22 2012, 01:09PM
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I would like to see the Lander -MPS connection as a 3rd line this year-- and I think that if Lander gets premium ice-time with skill guys during the lockout he will put up serious numbers.Todd Nelson seems to be using a system that "should"highlight MPS and his size and speed and awareness as he comes in as a trailer because of his innate defensive positioning he cant help maintaining ala Jarri Kurri--I hope MPS doesnt change that positioning --I still think MPS can use his one-timer like KURRI did on our top lines. The Barons might want to have MPS come in a bit later than they are now bringing the upspeed winger into the o-zone to the back door-- and have him pull up for a one-timer around the faceoff circle instead of pushing right to the net as they are doing now--this is a nice option if you are working the initial shot off of the right circle forcing a toe save dynamic because if they try to stop that play you just make the same cross ice "shot/pass"up higher for a clearcut onetimer ,toss the one-timer in 50% of the time--push the opposition goaltender and d-men hard every game because this one-timer is an NHL level play we need MPS to work on,remember the team is a development platform first and a winning entity second,right??. Nuge needs mega-faceoffs as well--he needs to work on knocking the puck down to his feet and engaging offense with an immediate shot on net in the o-zone--this way he can work on winning faceoffs at the NHL level by trying to put the puck places his opponent isnt considering right off the drop--places where he will snap the puck from--non-traditional areas where his body position after the initial puck battle give him a shooting lane.Even if its an intentional loss that allows him to get to the puck first,he needs another face-off gear--a tricky changeup offensive quick-strike threat.

Just sayin.

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