After two semi-bad seasons of hockey on the farm, Edmonton Oilers draft pick Tyler Pitlick, is finally proving that hard work does indeed pay off. Call it positioning or perhaps desperation, but either way, Pitlick has been a different animal both in Oilers training camp, and with the Oklahoma City Barons in the first seven games of the season.
Announced today, he will travel to join the Edmonton Oilers to help fill in the gap of one, Taylor Hall (Smyth and Eberle absent from skate this morning as well) who suffered a goofy knee injury in Ottawa this weekend. That’s a lot to ask of a player, and there aren’t enough band aids or call ups in the world to heal that gap.
Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins confirmed that the team will recall forward Tyler Pitlick from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.
This is Pitlick’s first-career NHL call up, that comes after a strong camp and pre-season in Edmonton that continued down in OKC. He has been slotted in on the Barons top forward line with Linus Omark and Anton Lander. He has a goal and two assists in seven games.
The call up comes on the heels of a practice in which both Jordan Eberle and Ryan Smyth did not skate with the team.
Nonetheless, this is a big day for young Tyler. Having played well over a hundred games for the Oklahoma City Barons, he finally turned the corner towards becoming a very good player…maybe. Seven games this season has earned him a goal and two assists, and even on an offensively skinny OKC Barons team, he’s managed to capitalize on several offensive moments across those games.
He’s played on a first line exclusively with Anton Lander at center, and Linus Omark on the left. Those three, arguably, are the best wingers the Barons have in their possession.
In his absence, the Barons might want to take an AHL looksee at Chase Schaber, who’s currently playing in Bakersfield. He looked good in AHL camp, was sent to the ECHL rather late, and has been good in only a few games played (the ECHL season starts a tad later). He’s worth a call up to OKC.
I’ll let the Oilers writers deal with his placement, but I think Tyler shows well. The Oilers play in Montreal tomorrow, and that is going to be a test of intestinal fortitude for Pitlick, who has been asked to be a “heavy checking forward”. Good luck Tyler. Go get ’em.