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FUTURE WATCH
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Future Watch: Teemu Hartikainen

Strong January leads to Hartikainen getting AHL Rookie-of-the-Month honours

Thursday, 03.02.2011 / 3:43 PM / Future Watch
By Marc Ciampa  - edmontonoilers.com
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Future Watch: Teemu Hartikainen
Teemu Hartikainen had four goals and 14 points in January to earn AHL Rookie-of-the-Month honours (photo by Jonathan Kozub).

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Perhaps one of the biggest surprises and success stories on the farm team in Oklahoma City this year has been Teemu Hartikainen.

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

Forwards
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
Cameron Abney   19 40 4 6 10 E 54 Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
mark arcobello
22 33 7 14 21 -2 10 stockton thunder (echl)
Alexander Bumagin   23 37 6 4 10 -9 22 Novokuznetsk (KHL)
Philippe Cornet   20 37 4 8 12 +4 4 Oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Drew Czerwonka   18 49 12 23 35 +9 59 kootenay ice (WHL)
Robby Dee   23 24 9 14 23 N/A 20 university of maine (h-east)
Jesse Gimblett   26 33 11 7 18 +2 80 stockton thunder (echl)
Alexandre Giroux   29 50 25 33 58 E 51 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Curtis Hamilton   19 42 17 39 56 +37 10 saskatoon blades (whl)
Teemu Hartikainen   20 50 14 18 32 -2 27 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kellen Jones   20 27 5 11 16 N/A 29 quinnipiac university (ecac)
Milan Kytnar   21 49 6 10 16 +2 14 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Anton Lander   19 39 8 13 21 -5 32 timra ik (sel)
Matt Marquardt   23 39 3 6 9 -5 6 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan Martindale   18 45 27 37 64 +31 18 ottawa 67's (ohl)
Colin McDonald   26 50 24 9 33 +2 45 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Brad Moran   31 50 14 31 45 +5 24 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan O'Marra
23 35 2 18 20 +12 32 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Linus Omark  *
28 26 14 17 31 +7 32 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ben Ondrus   28 50 5 11 16 -4 54 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kristians Pelss   18 45 8 12 20 +9 23 edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Tyler Pitlick   19 45 20 30 50 +2 27 medicine hat tigets (whl)
Toni Rajala   19 31 7 9 16 -4 4 ilves tampere (fnl)
Liam Reddox *
24 37 18 15 33 +14 16 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Gregory Stewart   24 45 6 5 11 -2 75 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Chris Vande Velde   23 49 7 4 11 -15 28 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Defencemen
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
Shawn Belle 
25 38 3 16 19 -10 61 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jordan Bendfeld   22 16 0 0 0 -1 35 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Kyle Bigos   21 19 0 4 4 N/A 65 merrimack college (h-east)
Jeremie Blain   18 23 1 19 20 +13 32 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)
Taylor Chorney
23 43 3 13 16 E 20 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Brandon Davidson   19 51 7 29 36 -2 48 regina pats (whl)
Troy Hesketh   19 22 0 0 0 -12 30 sioux city musketeers (ushl)
Martin Marincin   18 45 12 32 44 -3 41 prince george cougars (whl)
Johan Motin   21 34 1 3 4 -7 30 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Richard Petiot   28 34 0 11 11 +9 30 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jeff Petry *
23 32 7 14 21 -7 18 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Alex Plante   21 47 1 9 10 +6 98 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Goalies
Name Age GP W L T SO GAA PCT Team
Tyler Bunz   18 37 24 11 2 0 2.59 .912 medicine hat tigers (whl)
Jeff Deslauriers   26 18 8 8 2 0 2.99 .900 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Martin Gerber
36 29 16 10 3 0 2.57 .914 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Bryan Pitton   22 23 14 6 2 0 2.74 .899 stockton thunder (echl)
Olivier Roy   19 30 19 11 0 0 3.03 .903 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)

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