Lander, and now Pitlick. The Edmonton Oilers will take on another prospect as the late season injuries pile on for the NHL team. With the Barons still reeling from back to back losses to the Grand Rapids Griffins, they’ll again go down a peg as the forward group becomes thin. Pitlick, playing two games at center for odd, but actual reasons, will make his way to the Oilers for the first time since leaving in early December.
This is good news for Pitlick who probably has earned a chance long before today. Playing mightily well in three games only to be sidelined with injury, Tyler was placed in Oklahoma City in December. Since that time he has eight goals and fourteen assists in 38 games. He’s been a pretty frequent winger, occasionally a center, and rather good on the power play when asked to do such things. In a word, he’s been SOLID.
What does this mean for young Pitlick? Two things.
First, it is another good audition period. Playing when the team A) needs you and B) when they look like an actual cohesive team might play well into the hands of the winger that has some grunt.
Second, it perhaps places him in a scenario, like Lander, where a contract extension becomes an actual thing. Promoting him over Horak or Arcobello (both capable at center or wing) perhaps hints that a continuing job is to be had. Remember, even Chris VandeVelde got a year-long extension. I like Pitlick more than most other prospect forwards, so this is a seemingly good recall in terms of the future.
In the last five games, Tyler Pitlick has earned three points, taken thirteen shots, and somehow managed to stay at zero in the +/- stat despite a losing effort in the last two games. He was a mainstay on Lander’s right, where the two had magnificent chemistry, but lately the coaching staff has given him the center role, and it has been testy. He likes walls. He is better on the edges. Pitlick is a winger. Might we see a Lander-Pitlick lineup again in the NHL? Likely.
The Barons play a pair this weekend against the Texas Stars. The road gets bumpy.