Teemu Hartikainen is "in the window" where he needs to step up from "quality AHL player" to "NHL regular. It’s a massive step, and one I’m sure Edmonton would love to see the big Finn make this fall. The question I have is this: will Harski provide enough offense?
At the minor league level, Teemu Hartikainen is more than a face in the crowd. The young man has managed some impressive things in Oklahoma since the fall of 2010, and that is reflected in his AHL points per 82 games boxcars:
- 82, 23-33-55, 173 shots on goal
That’s a nice boxcar for the big Finnish player. If we estimate he’s playing 15 minutes a game (total), that would be 2.68 points per 60 minutes of AHL play (combined EV/PP). I think it’s a reasonable guess that Hartikainen’s offense in the AHL suggests he should at least be capable of filling a 4line role and (to quote new GM Craig MacTavish) " In today’s NHL, even marginally, you have to be a threat to score."
THE NHL PERFORMANCE
However, the NHL numbers give a person pause about how much Hartikainen can help. If we use simple TOI and EV scoring over his three seasons in the NHL, we get this number for Harski:
- NHL EV/60 2010-13: 0.81
The numbers by year:
- 10-11: 1.04
- 11-12: 1.36
- 12-13: 0.00
A quick note: the NHL/EV number above uses the NHL.COM data for TOI and EV points, the season by season breakout is behind the net. They are not directly comparable, but do give an indication of what he’s been doing at even strength/5×5 in the NHL.
IS THAT ENOUGH?
No. However, each of these season’s is a small sample size. Teemu Hartikainen played 196 EV minutes this season and had zero EV points–that’s not a good thing for a young player trying to impress a new General Manager. However, history tells us that minor league succes can predict major league ability, and Hartikainen’s AHL numbers tell us that there may be a player here.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Teemu Hartikainen has played about 595 minutes of even strength NHL hockey over three seasons and is 4-4-8 during that time. That’s below par, and the fact that he managed zero even strength points this past season may mean his opportunity has passed with the Edmonton Oilers.
A losing team is the most likely team to flush underperformers (Steve Tambellini aside) and despite my own personal feelings that Hartikainen should get a full season to show what he can do, it may not be in the cards for Harski.