If Tyler Pitlick continues to play as he has, turning in consistent strong performances, he'll earn a hard look for a roster spot on the Oilers - if he hasn't already. The 24-year-old winger, when on his game, can be an effective player.
"He's near the puck, he's near the pile, he's bullying his way through," said Head Coach Todd McLellan. "I see him, when he's effective, he plays like a bully. He crashes through plays, he takes people with him, there's bodies that are laying around him, and then he's making responsible plays around the rink as well. I think we're seeing a lot more aggressive and prepared Pitlick this year than last year and I think that's due in large part to injury."
Pitlick has a goal and an assist in three pre-season games. He finished his night against Anaheim with three shots on goal in 12:28 of ice time. Both Pitlick and fellow forward Anton Slepyshev are working hard to make an impression on the coaching staff. In Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Ducks, both stood out to McLellan.
"They played hard, competitive minutes," said McLellan. "They played on the inside, physically stood over pucks and won a lot of battles that were up in the air, 50/50-type battles and kept plays alive. I'm happy for them. They've done a good job and we'll get back to practice tomorrow and see if we can keep working with them and get them improving."