Photo Credit: © Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Pitlick: Overnight Sensation

Are you kidding me? Seriously? After many long years, and many many injuries, Tyler Pitlick arrived as an NHL player this fall. He scored at will, and even though he got hurt again, it was pretty clear there was NHL ability with this player. Finally!

So, Peter Chiarelli, sign him up! One problem. The injury made it impossible for the Oilers to play Pitlick in enough games to qualify as a restricted free agent so he’ll be UFA on July 1. After all these words! Between Jonathan Willis and I, Oilers Nation has probably endured 100,000 words (easy) on the subject of Tyler Pitlick. For this? Damn!

Pitlick was ranked as a first-round pick by Bob McKenzie, Red Line Report too. He was 6.02, 195 and could skate well, reports said he had a great shot but honestly we didn’t see much of him in the NHL in the early years. Why? Injury.

Damn Sam anyway. I always like to go back to the beginning, the original scouting report, just to see what we can see.

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  • Red Line Report, summer 2010: Has an NHL calibre shot right now. Flashed the ability to power through defenders. Can gain separation in corners with sharp twists and can turn on a dime. Patient playmaker. Long-limbed with farmboy like strength. Aggressive and finished checks. Can shield the puck and work it down low, but often gives it up due to his eagerness to come off the wall and attempt to dance around defenders. Work in progress defensively – will come back deep and battle for the puck but lacks awareness in coverage assignments. Green in many facets and was stuck on a Mankato team that was every man for himself, but was a big-time talent.
    Projection – Versatile 3rd line checker who chips in on “O”
    Style compares to: Max Pacioretty

Well, we did in fact see some of those things. I always thought Pitlick’s farm boy strength was married to reckless abandon and that might have been a reason for his injuries. Either way, we are a week from free agency and he (plus Jordan Oesterle) are free agents because them’s the rules. He has scored 11 goals in 58 games and he has size and speed.

And here’s the kicker: After running 500 miles of bad luck with injuries, the rules conspired to get Tyler Pitlick to free agency in a season where there are not many terrific options. He is 25, can still skate like crazy and plays a rambunctious style.

I bet his phone is ringing off the hook. Can’t even get mad about it. Hope he finds just the right spot and has a helluva career.


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On Thursday night (June 29th), we’re hosting our first Nation Night at the Ballpark as the Edmonton Prospects take on the Weyburn Beavers. As you’d expect, we’ll have some prizes to give away and stickers for the kids (big or small) so clear your calendar and plan to be at RE/MAX Field on Thursday night. Tickets are available here.

  • 0W-20

    Am hopeful Pete C. can get Pitlick signed despite being an UFA. He’s a useful RW here and be a cost-effective depth solution that could play skill minutes as EDM moves into a period of roster composition when value contracts will be critical to infill the roster with McDavid & Draisaitl making beaucoup bucks.

  • Bubba Train

    I would bet that Pitlick feels an obligation to the Oilers after they have stuck with him for so long.

    Still, Peter is not the sharpest tool in the shed so could easily let Tyler get away from him.

      • Bubba Train


        So far, no improvement over summer. All the opportunities this summer, Peter gets shut out.

        Better get a move on Peter, McDavid can’t cover for you forever, and Calgary is right in the rear view mirror.

        • Reg Dunlop

          If by overpaying huge for a defender about equal to Russell and having no forward prospects coming along somehow puts cal-gary close to (yet still behind) the Oil, I guess you’re right. Maybe a declining player like Giordano, who is under contract at 6.75mil for 5 more years, will help the flames blow past Edmonton.

        • OilersGM

          Irrelevant I agree. Haven’t made any moves so far I agree but the Lames in the rear view mirror hahahaha totally disagree nothing to be scared of there just because they added the overvalued Hamonic.

        • Not a First Tier Fan

          The level of improvement after Chia Pete’s moves last week remains to be seen – for sure… But after the Eberle trade the team dynamic has definitely been changed… My bet is that move, plus whatever Chiarelli does in free agency, will set the Oil up for another successful year.

          I’m guessing you were one of those guys who said Hall for Larsson made the team worse… Lol

      • Bubba Train

        trust me, every NHL team is trying to get better. The Oil will have a decent year, I believe this as well, but what is the goal?

        Connor will take them so far but he needs help. Time to surround him with talent is now. Time to get better is now.

        Opportunity was everywhere this summer, Peter did not sieze the day.

        • singlemalt

          Bubba, I bet you are way smarter than PC. I know life is unfair. That shumuk went to Harvard, won a cup, and now here he is GM of the Oil. And you?? Look at you!! As I said life is so unfair, Bubba!

    • ricardo2000

      I’m hopping that Pitter can see past the money. I hope that other UFAs see the Oil as legitimate cup contender, and want to be here when the McD/Drai lightning strikes. Playing on a cup-winning team adds a lot of value to a player as everyone is watching, if they make positive contributions.

  • Tombstone

    I highly doubt his phone is ringing off the hook. He has very little NHL experience in the last 3 years because of injury. In fact, Drake has more experience than Pitlick. I bet he signs with the Oilers with the possibility of starting in the AHL next year.
    On another note. Last year when the Oilers where playing WPJ I heard Byfuglien over the T.V say to Pitlick ” get the f*ck out of here Picky” ???

  • DarknessMyOldFriend

    Well he was our highest scoring RW last season with 8 goals now that Eberle is gone, so we should probably sign him. Got to love our RW depth…

  • RJ

    I’ve seen it done in football, but not hockey. What percentage of players who have missed as many games as Pitlick have been able to shake the injury bug and become healthy contributers?

    If it’s a very small percentage, then wish him well and let him go.

    Said it before and I’ll say it again: durability is a skill. You need to build around guys that will be able to play 75-80 games a year. I’d rather see Sleppy get the icetime.

  • Arnie

    Definitely hope they sign Pitlick. PC has made numerous great moves to pull the Oilers out of the decade of darkness but the last few moves Deharnais and potentially missing a deal with LV could come back to haunt us. We can still put something together for LV that could help us shed salary and get something back. Trade Pouliot, Faye and our 2nd and 3rd round drafts in 2018 for Reinhart. That sheds 7.65 mil in salary and gets us a temp number 6 D until Sekera comes back . If Reinhart is even close to being worth what we originally gave up for him this would be a no brainer.

    • Mike Modano's Dog

      From what I’ve heard you’re not able to re-acquire the player you lost in the expansion draft, until Jan. 1st of the next year. So the soonest we could get Reinhart back would be then.

      • That is exactly the question I want to ask. Where did you hear that? I have been wondering what the compensation would be to write an offer sheet to Reinhart. If they are allowed to sign an offer sheet on July 1st, the Oilers would end up losing less (in compensation) than what VGK were demanding to protect Reinhart. If the Oilers can’t sign him, other teams could get Reinhart from VGK for peanuts. Here is the 2017 compensation for signing RFA’s to an offer sheet:

        Average annual value Draft Pick Compensation
        $1,295,571 or below None
        Over $1,295,571 to $1,962,986 Third-round pick
        Over $1,962,986 to $3,925,975 Second-round pick
        Over $3,925,975 to $5,888,960 First-round and third-round pick
        Over $5,888,960 to $7,851,948 First-round, second-round and third-round pick
        Over $7,851,948 to $9,814,935 Two first-round picks, second-round pick, third-round pick
        Over $9,814,935 Four first-round picks

        • A team desperate for a young third-pairing defenseman could offer Reinhart less than $3,925,975 and only lose a 2nd round pick. I could imagine a team offering about 2.5 million. Can ZGK afford to match? Maybe they would be happy with a 2nd round pick in compensation. Are Oilers the only team that can’t sign him to an offer sheet?

          • Big Nuggets

            ugh, Reinhardt is already way overpriced and he has barely played in the NHL. I would stay away from offersheeting him.

            Pitlick on the otherhand could be signed for cheap and already looks likr a decent winger. I would not think twice about signing Pitty.

          • I’m really curious at what VGK are going to do in the next week or two. They currently only have 11 NHL forwards under contract. And they only have $3,799,167 in cap space. They don’t even have enough cap space to sign their 4 RFA’s. Obviously they need to start moving some of their defensemen to acquire a few more forwards, draft picks, and free up cap room at the same time. Are they waiting until after the free agency frenzy ends? Sometimes the demand for NHL defensemen goes up after the free agency market dries up. But there are no guarantees. In my opinion, they had move one or two of those defensemen before the July 1st deadline.

    • CdnMaDCoW

      Unfortunately, the relationship between the Oilers and Pitlick is oddly similar to me and my smartphone.

      I love the shiny thing and then I drop it. Glass gets cracked up really bad then it sits on the shelf until I get it fixed. I play with the fresh,new shiny screen and then I drop it….and the vicious circle continues!!

      I say let him spread his broken wings and the Oil can search elseware…unless we can find an Ottetbox for him. Then lets keep him

    • Where's the Lamb Sauce

      One of my favourite goals of the season came from Pitlick in a game against Calgary. He flew down the wing over the blueline and slammed it past Elliot. Great moment. I bet you hope he has to go on IR so that he doesn’t show everyone how old Smith really is…

    • Big Nuggets

      I think he is the perfect guy to take a chance on. Unless they want to sign Marleau or some veteran nd dont have room on the roster. Pitlick is a low risk signing. The ability to stay healthy may be a somewhat of a skill but broken legs I think are usually bad luck, and having you spleen explode is worse luck. Mostly I want to resign him because I really like his game. He reminds me of our bottom six guys back whwn we had Pisani, Marleau etc, guys that work hard and have a touch of goalscoring ability.