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.
- 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.
NATION NIGHT AT THE BALLPARK
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.