Photo by Steven Christy
Kyle Platzer has come to life for the Oklahoma City Barons at a time where life has been needed. After competing for the second straight season in the OHL playoffs with the Owen Sound Attack, Platzer has already made a mark in the early throws of his professional debut with the Edmonton Oilers, and more specifically its farm team in OKC.
I was surprisingly fond of Platzer in a recent game, and I think most will agree that he has a tendency to fly under the radar just a bit.
In an online interview with hometown news outlet, The Record, Platzer spoke of his early days as a pro hockey prospect.:
After going scoreless in his debut, the centre potted a pair of goals in his second game with the Barons last week.
“My roommate (defenceman Joey LaLeggia) told me I was going to score before the game,” said Platzer. “He said he just had a feeling.”
The former Waterloo Wolves product came across the ice and tipped a point shot for his first AHL marker in a 5-3 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs last Tuesday. He added his second of the game late in the third period as a trailer on a rush.
“I was hoping for overtime so I could try for the hat trick,” said Platzer, who finished with three points in four games for the Barons. “It was confidence boost to score. I feel like I belong here.”
The next day, the puck from his first tally was waiting for him in the dressing room before practice.
“That was a nice touch,” he said.
He also didn’t mix words when it came time to evaluate himself. He fully realizes the spot he is in, while understanding the need to better himself. He continues:
“My goal is to make the NHL,” he said. “I’m still a little undersized and not as developed as some of the men here. A year or two in the AHL wouldn’t be bad for my game.”
It is nice to hear a prospect speak realistically about organizational positioning. Platzer, a pretty smart fella in his youth, seems poised well beyond his years. And for now he is content to work on his game, even for the remainder of days in Oklahoma.
“The Barons have been awesome with me,” he said. “They’re teaching me things about the pro game.”
Keep an eye on Platzer, his positioning in the lineup, and his continued movement up the depth chart in the Oilers organization. I think he is a keeper.