Future Watch: Teemu Hartikainen
Strong January leads to Hartikainen getting AHL Rookie-of-the-Month honours
Teemu Hartikainen had four goals and 14 points in January to earn AHL Rookie-of-the-Month honours (photo by Jonathan Kozub).
With 14 goals and 32 points this season, the 20-year-old Hartikainen ranks third among rookies in the AHL.
After a bit of a slow start to the season that saw him net only 11 points through the team's first 26 games, he has put up 21 points in his last 24 while showing improvements to his game on a weekly basis.
"First, I didn't score that much but I've played last 20 games, point per game. It was good for me that Liam and Linus were sent up," said Hartikainen. "I have to work harder all the time. It's given me lots of confidence right now."
The 6'1", 215 pound winger had a remarkable January with 14 points in 15 games. His efforts earned him the title of AHL Rookie of the Month.
The callups have helped not only Hartikainen but his linemates Philippe Cornet and Milan Kytnar.
"Cornet and Kytnar are good players but they were getting 10 minutes per game before those guys went up. Now we're playing 15, 20 minutes per game and we get the puck and power play," Hartikainen commented. "We get scoring chances every game and we score a lot of goals so it's good."
Hartikainen had spent the past two seasons with KalPa Kuopio of the SM-Liiga in Finland. He put up totals of 17 goals and 23 points in 51 games 2008-09 and 15 goals and 33 points in 53 games 2009-10. Impressive numbers for a rookie, but the winger noted that success in one league does not necessarily mean success in the other -- at least not right away.
"It's so much of a different game from Europe. I've got to learn a lot the first 40 games, the style, forechecking and hitting the guys."
Helping the transition to North America was the acceptance of his teammates in Oklahoma City. Hartikainen raved about the camraderie on the team.
"Great, great guys. I get a lot of good friends," he said. "(Colin) McDonald lives in the same place as me and we hang around a lot, just sitting on the coach watching movies almost every night."
The Finn also had some kind words for the coaching staff.
"They teach me all the time. They say things like 'I know you played last year like this but you need to change your style a little bit.," he said. "It's coming naturally for me now."
As for any personal goals for the rest of the season, he was leaving it somewhat open-ended at this point as it now looks like his pre-season personal goals will be obliterated.
"My own goal before the season was 40 points and if I get over, it's good," Hartikainen stated. "It looks like I'm going over so 50 points, over 20 goals, something like that."
Author: Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com, with files from Tom Gazzola
2010-11 OILERS PROSPECT STATS
|19||40||4||6||10||E||54||Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)|
|22||33||7||14||21||-2||10||stockton thunder (echl)|
|20||37||4||8||12||+4||4||Oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|18||49||12||23||35||+9||59||kootenay ice (WHL)|
|23||24||9||14||23||N/A||20||university of maine (h-east)|
|26||33||11||7||18||+2||80||stockton thunder (echl)|
|29||50||25||33||58||E||51||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||42||17||39||56||+37||10||saskatoon blades (whl)|
|20||50||14||18||32||-2||27||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|20||27||5||11||16||N/A||29||quinnipiac university (ecac)|
|21||49||6||10||16||+2||14||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||39||8||13||21||-5||32||timra ik (sel)|
|23||39||3||6||9||-5||6||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||45||27||37||64||+31||18||ottawa 67's (ohl)|
|26||50||24||9||33||+2||45||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|31||50||14||31||45||+5||24||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||35||2||18||20||+12||32||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||26||14||17||31||+7||32||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||50||5||11||16||-4||54||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||45||8||12||20||+9||23||edmonton oil kings (WHL)|
|19||45||20||30||50||+2||27||medicine hat tigets (whl)|
|19||31||7||9||16||-4||4||ilves tampere (fnl)|
|24||37||18||15||33||+14||16||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||45||6||5||11||-2||75||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||49||7||4||11||-15||28||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|25||38||3||16||19||-10||61||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||16||0||0||0||-1||35||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|21||19||0||4||4||N/A||65||merrimack college (h-east)|
|18||23||1||19||20||+13||32||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|
|23||43||3||13||16||E||20||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||51||7||29||36||-2||48||regina pats (whl)|
|19||22||0||0||0||-12||30||sioux city musketeers (ushl)|
|18||45||12||32||44||-3||41||prince george cougars (whl)|
|21||34||1||3||4||-7||30||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||34||0||11||11||+9||30||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||32||7||14||21||-7||18||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|21||47||1||9||10||+6||98||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||37||24||11||2||0||2.59||.912||medicine hat tigers (whl)|
|26||18||8||8||2||0||2.99||.900||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|36||29||16||10||3||0||2.57||.914||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||23||14||6||2||0||2.74||.899||stockton thunder (echl)|
|19||30||19||11||0||0||3.03||.903||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|