FUTURE WATCH | Tyler Pitlick
Oilers prospect Tyler Pitlick got a taste of NHL action and now that he's healthy, he's ready to earn more.
"I know that I can play up there now."
That was Tyler Pitlick's biggest lesson learned during his three-game call up with the Edmonton Oilers in October.
"Obviously, I did it for a few games," he said. "I thought I did well. I think I've just got to stick to what I was doing before and hopefully, I will get another call."
|Photo by Steven Christy/OKC Barons
The Oilers forward prospect and former second round pick, 31st overall in 2010, earned his first NHL call up following not only a solid training camp with the team, but a good start to his season in the AHL as well.
Pitlick had scored three points (1-2-3) in seven games with the Oklahoma City Barons in October, prior to his call up by the Oilers. Through the first five games of his season in OKC, he had 10 shots on goal, playing healthy minutes with the team's top players.
"I had a good camp and it kind of gave me some confidence. Then, came into this season and just kind of played and was having fun. Things were going well and I got the call, so it was good."
When he got the call, Pitlick was ecstatic.
"It was awesome. It was obviously a dream come true. It's what I've been working for all these years and it was a big moment for me."
|Photo by Getty Images
Six-foot-two, 192 pound Pitlick has been the beneficiary of a willingness to use his body and the philosophy to hit 'everything that moves'. His choice to evolve his game around his size came out of what he saw as a need for the Oilers.
"I'm a big guy and I think that's kind of what they need up there," said Pitlick. "They've got a lot of skilled guys that really have a lot of skill, I guess, and I think they need more guys that go up there and bang bodies, play more of a physical game and create energy."
In three games with Edmonton, Pitlick officially recorded eight hits.
Things were looking up for the NHL rookie when, in a game against Phoenix, Pitlick achieved both a career high moment, and a low one, on the same night.
"It was tough, for sure. I went from getting called up and playing some NHL games and scoring my first goal then a few shifts later, I tore my MCL again. Not the same one, but the other one. I don't know, it was definitely a setback but there's nothing I can do about it, just got to keep going."
Pitlick scored his first career NHL goal against Phoenix, a moment he will always remember. A few shifts later, he suffered a knee injury. That is something he has dealt with before in his career and each time he suffers a set back like this one, the 22 year-old has came back with even more momentum. It is something he knows how to bounce back from.
In three games back with Oklahoma City this month, Pitlick has shot the puck more than he had in his previous time with the club. He has eight shots on goal in those three games, as opposed to his 10 through the first 10 of the season.
There was some rust to shake off in his first game back from injury, but the Oilers prospect feels like he has slowly worked his way back to 100%.
"I think I've just got to take up where I left off. The first game, I struggled a little bit. I mean, it was the first game back… The next two games I played, I think I was a lot more comfortable and I think I am almost back to where I was before I got hurt."
Now that Pitlick is healthy, he is ready to get another shot at NHL duty.
"I think I've showed that I can play up there."
Barons Player Stats | AHL Standings | Barons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 2012-13 | 2011-12
Stats Updated as of Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. MST
|d||19||35||4||7||11||-4||45||EVERETT SILVERTIPS (WHL)|
|f||18||32||17||18||35||16||30||CALGARY HITMEN (WHL)|
|DARNELL NURSE||D||18||33||8||24||32||7||62||SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)|
|F||18||34||17||11||28||-3||34||VANCOUVER GIANTS (WHL)|
|f||19||25||8||10||18||2||31||EVERETT SILVERTIPS (WHL)|
|F||19||34||21||13||34||14||87||EDMONTON OIL KINGS (WHL)|
|F||18||34||8||7||15||-3||12||LONDON KNIGHTS (OHL)|
|F||24||23||4||5||9||1||59||JOKERIT HELSINKI (FINLAND)|
|F||19||35||3||0||3||1||8||NIZHNY NOVGOROD (RUSSIA)|
|26||10||3||5||2||2.58||.920||OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)|
|LAURENT BROSSOIT||20||7||2||4||0||3.53||.885||OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)|
|TYLER BUNZ||21||4||1||1||1||3.15||.914||OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)|
|22||N/A||n/a||n/a||n/a||N/A||N/A||HPK HAMEENLINNA (FINLAND)|