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FUTURE WATCH | Tyler Pitlick

by Ashley Docking / Edmonton Oilers

“It was a learning process for sure.”

That seems to sum up just about every experience that Tyler Pitlick has gone through in his career. It’s an adjustment.

“Going to University (Minnesota State), and being on my own and then going across the country to Medicine Hat (WHL) and living with billets. It was definitely a little different. I got a little homesick at first but it’s something that you get used to.”

Those changes came in back-to-back seasons with little time to settle in. For the young winger that hails from Minnesota, it’s all about rolling with the punches.

Fresh out of high school, Pitlick played for his home team at Minnesota State University. Be careful not to confuse that with the other institution in the North Star State, the University of Minnesota. That’s where his uncle, Lance Pitlick, attended and made quite the mark. Tyler wanted to avoid comparisons and that was part of the reason for selecting a different college.

“It’s kind of just the way it ended up working out,” he said. “I went on a couple of visits and I kind of wanted to do my own thing. My Uncle went to the U of M, so I wanted to go my own path. I decided to go to State.”

His uncle had a long, unplanned career in the NHL. He spent five seasons with the Senators and three with the Panthers.

For the elder Pitlick, the motivation to hit the ice came from the prospect of free schooling, which obviously wasn’t the case for the Oilers prospect Tyler, who laced up for the first time as a three year-old, but there are some similarities between the two that are unavoidable. They both pride themselves on solid, reliable, physical play and for Tyler it was something that made him standout in training camp, as well as pre-season with the Oilers this year.

Photo Courtesy Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers 

From initiating contact to keeping the cycle alive, being a positive presence in the locker room and on the bench, one of thebest qualities that Pitlick possesses is his willingness to fill any role that the team needs from him.

“I played centre in high school, then in college I moved to the wing part-time. Then in major junior, I was all right wing.”

Whether it’s out of necessity because of his whirlwind journey to Oklahoma City, or if it developed naturally makes no difference. It’s that flexibility that has made him a reliable asset. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound, 31st-overall draft pick won’t gripe about changes either.

“I think it’s a little easier playing wing,” Pitlick said. “You just stay up the right side and cover your d-man and fore-check. Centre is a lot more work.”

It’s more than the team-first attitude that he carries, it’s the now-or-never mind set that lends itself to becoming a contributing role-player on a big league franchise.

“Every night is do or die.”

For some prospects, it probably feels as though time is of the essence, but Pitlick isn’t so driven that he forgets to reflect on the great moments. Moments like his 10-game stint with the Oilers last season when he notched his first NHL goal in his third game, against the Coyotes.

“It goes by quick but it was a good feeling, it wasn’t the prettiest goal,” Pitlick said. “I took a swipe at it and missed and then I took another one and it kind of dribbled in. They don’t ask how they go in I guess, it was still a good feeling to get that first one.”

Funny enough, while trying to chart his own course, the self-deprecation is eerily similar to the way his uncle had described his first of 16 career goals.

“My first one was against Mike Richter in Madison Square Garden, so that was pretty cool,” Lance said. “It bounced off about two of their players and found its way into the net… half of the time I had no idea where the puck was headed.”

Persistence. That’s the name of the game when it comes to cracking an NHL roster full-time.

Photo Courtesy Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers

Pitlick’s performance at this years training camp got some attention. He was physical, making one memorable performance in Edmonton’s pre-season win against Winnipeg, and he wasn’t singled out as a weak link. That play earned him minutes on the top line and he was among the last group to get reassigned. Pitlick was placed on waivers on October 5, 2014 after finishing the pre-season with a plus-2 rating in 5 games.

When asked by Senshot.com about his nephew, Lance had this scouting report:

“He’s an offensive player,” Lance said. “He has good skill and good lateral movement and can finish. So he will be one that gets the points and the glory, but with that comes the pressure too.”


It’s something that the 22-year-old seems up for after Oilers GM Craig MacTavish touted that he’s, “turned himself into a professional,” which is good things for the young prospect, if he can get in the right headspace.

“I can be a pretty effective player with this team if I can get the confidence under my belt and I just try to get better every day,” Pitlick said. “My speed (is what I’m working on as well as) getting in on the fore-check and hitting guys.”

Now with the Barons, and one game into the AHL season, Pitlick hopes it’s just a layover until he can reach his dreams of playing the in NHL full-time, just like his Uncle.


  Barons Player StatsAHL StandingsBarons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 13-14 | 12-13 | 11-12
Stats Updated as of Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | * - Player on AHL contract with Oklahoma City Barons

Oklahoma City (AHL)


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
KEITH AULIE D 25 1 0 0 0 -1 0
BRANDON DAVIDSON D 23 - - - - - -
TRAVIS EWANYK F 21 - - - - - -
MATT FORD* F 30 1 0 0 0 -2 0
MARTIN GERNAT d 21 1 0 0 0 0 0
CURTIS HAMILTON
F 22 - - - - - -
RYAN HAMILTON
F 29 1 1 0 1 -1 0
KALE KESSY
F 30 1 0 0 0 -2 0
JUJHAR KHAIRA
F 20 1 0 0 0 -2 0
OSCAR KLEFBOM   d 21 - - - - - -
ANTON LANDER
F 23 1 0 0 0 +1 0
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 - - - - - -
MARTIN MARINCIN
D 22 1 0 1 1 0 0
ANDREW MILLER F 26 1 0 1 1 +1 0
MITCH MOROZ F 20 1 0 0 0 0 0
DAVID MUSIL D 21 1 0 0 0 -1 0
JORDAN OESTERLE  D 22 1 0 0 0 0 0
IIRO PAKARINEN F 23 1 1 1 2 +1 0
STEVE PINIZZOTTO
F 30 1 0 1 1 0 0
TYLER PITLICK
F 22 1 0 0 0 -1 0
DILLON SIMPSON
d 21 1 0 0 0 -1 0
JASON WILLIAMS*
F 34 1 0 0 0 -1 0
BOGDAN YAKIMOV
F 20 1 0 0 0 0 2
Bakersfield (ECHL)


Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
graeme craig* D 21 - - - - - -
mitch holmberg* F 21 - - - - - -
connor jones* F 24 - - - - - -
Kellen jones* F 24 - - - - - -
josh winquist* F 21 - - - - - -
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
BEN BETKER   d 20 6 1 2 3 +4 8 EVERETT (WHL)
JACKSON HOUCK
f 19 7 2 5 7 -1 2 VANCOUVER (WHL)
KYLE PLATZER F 19 8 5 8 13 +7 2 OWEN SOUND (OHL)
MARCO ROY
F 19 6 4 4 8 +4 4 QUEBEC (qmjHL)
NCAA, Junior A & USHL
Name POS age  GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   f 21 1 1 0 1 0 2 UMASS-LOWELL (NCAA)
LIAM COUGHLIN
F 20 9 3 0 3 0 8 VERNON (BCHL)
JOEY LALEGGIA  d 22 - - - - - - DENVER (NCAA)
JOHN MCCARRON   f 22 - - - - - - CORNELL (NCAA)
AIDAN MUIR   F 19 - - - - - - WESTERN MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TYLER VESEL F 20 - - - - - - NEBRASKA-OMAHA (NCAA)
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ROMAN HORAK
f 23 15 7 5 12 +3 14 VITYAZ (KHL)
WILLIAM LAGESSON
d 18 4 0 2 2 +1 4 DUBUQUE (USHL)
PHILIP LARSEN
f 24 16 1 4 5 -7 18 YUGRA (KHL)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV
f 20 17 3 4 7 +2 4 UFA (KHL)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN
F 25 9 4 1 5 0 6 TAMPERE (FINLAND)
DANIIL ZHARKOV
F 21 6 0 0 0 +2 4 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (KHL)
2014 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
TBD - - - - - - - -   -
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T GAA SV% team
RICHARD BACHMAN   26 1 0 0 1 2.84 .900 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 21 - - - - ----- --- OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
TYLER BUNZ   21 - - - - ----- --- wichita (ECHL)
NIKO HOVINEN
26 7 1 4 0 2.51 .921 VLADIVOSTOK (AHL)
ZACHARY NAGELVOORT
26 1 0 1 0 4.08 .871 MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TY RIMMER*
22 - - - - ----- --- bakersfield (ecHL)
Frans Tuohimaa   23 - - - - ----- --- BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
- - - - ----- --- OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
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