The Edmonton Oilers announced Tuesday that they have agreed to terms with Tyler Pitlick on a one-year contract extension. Pitlick was the 31st overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.
Last season was quite the learning experience for Pitlick who got his first taste of NHL hockey. The forward played 10 games with the Oilers and scored his first NHL goal. The ups and downs of the season, including his knee injuries, helped Pitlick learn more about himself.
The 22-year-old says he is working to stick in the NHL and that means hitting the gym.
“I’m just trying to get myself bigger and stronger so I can hang in the corners a little bit better with the bigger guys and push guys around,” Pitlick told Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now. “I’ve worked on my skating and skills and I’ll just come in ready to have a good camp like last year.”
For Pitlick, the biggest difference between the American Hockey League, where he has spent the last three seasons, and the NHL is the size and strength of the opponents.
“They are definitely bigger guys. They’re stronger. I think in the AHL I can, with no problems, keep guys off me in the corners and circle off guys. But the guys in the NHL are bigger and stronger and they’ll push you over if you’re not ready for it. I’m just working on balance and being stronger for this season.”
Getting bigger and stronger fall in line with what Oilers management told Pitlick they wanted from him moving forward. He also says he’d like to add “a little more of a mean streak” to his game while being consistently physical and staying healthy.