This is Tyler Pitlick in a Medicine Hat Tiger uniform. The town gave us Lanny McDonald, Donny Murdoch, the Gassoffs, Ken Holland, Jim Nill, Tom Lysiak, Pete Peeters, Jay Bouwmeester and the legend that is Stan Weir; how is Pitlick doing in the town where you cannot get a ticket to a game?
Throughout the season I’ll post updates on prospects and see how they’re progressing. I’ll pick between 5-10 whose arrows are heading one way or another. Around Christmas, I’ll post my annual top 20 (both here and at the LT blog). One thing is already clear: despite the trio of prospects who made the grade this fall, there’s still plenty bubbling under.
- Tyler Pitlick, Medicine Hat (WHL): At first blush (5gp, 2-0-2 -5) Pitlick’s numbers are poor, but the entire team appears to be struggling. Emerson Etem (5gp, 2-0-2 -4) scored 37 goals a year ago and the entire team is averaging just 2.4 a game so far (3.83 a year ago). If Pitlick is still struggling a month from now we’ll have a story, but based on his TC with the big club there’s likely not much to be concerned with in regard to Pitlick.
- Anton Lander, Timra (SEL): A couple of things. We need to remember that this player is in a pro league, so the offensive numbers are never going to be eye-popping compared to junior numbers. Also, his resume reads like a modern Doug Jarvis so there’s much more than boxcar numbers when it comes to evaluating him. With that in mind, I’ll lead with his time-on-ice: 17:39. That’s impressive for a kid who is barely shaving (although he was at about the same number a year ago). His offense (9gp, 1-3-4 E) is solid too. Nice range of skills, described as a "responsible player".
- Martin Marincin, Prince George (WHL). Marincin’s numbers (7gp, 2-2-4 -1) include both goals on the PP and an impressive 17PIMS. His 4 points is tied for the league lead among rookie defensemen. A very nice start for the lanky kid from Slovakia.
- Ryan Martindale, Ottawa (OHL). A solid start (5gp, 3-3-6 E) has him 2nd in team scoring. This is his 4th OHL season (Martindale has played in over 200 games in the OHL, including playoffs) and should post excellent offensive numbers this season.
- Curtis Hamilton, Saskatoon (WHL). The most impressive start in the group (7gp, 4-7-11 +6) has me thinking MBS may have done it again. Hamilton is healthy, playing at a new level (first time above a point-per-game in the dub) and ranks in the top 10 in league scoring.
- Toni Rajala, Ilves Tampere (SM-Liiga). Scoring well (5gp, 2-4-6 -1) and appears to be on a feature line. He did play in their most recent game and was productive, this appears to be a much better offensive player than Jani Rita or Tony Salmelainen at the same age. Rita at 19 (same league) went 50gp, 5-10-15 and Salmelainen (same league) at 19 went 26gp, 3-10-13. Rita played on the more gifted offensive team, too. Anyway, Rajala looks like he might be a player. And of course we don’t have TOI for each player. Either way, he’s tracking well.
Next week I’ll have a look at the Oklahoma City Barons. They played last night and were clubbed by Houston. Teemu Hartikainen scored, Shawn Belle was +1 (tough to do in a 6-1 loss) but there were lots of negatives (Vande Velde -3, Gerber’s SP was .769). Having said that, one game is a very small sample size so we’ll give it the week.