The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Tyler Pitlick

Christopher Ralph is a sportswriter with a focus on hockey prospects, the entry draft, as well as occasional Flames coverage here at THW.

{A special thanks to THW’s Buffalo Sabres Correspondent, Angela Stefano, who provided exceptional assistance in preparing this prospect profile.}

“Full Potential” Prospect Profile:

Please “Click Here” for “Notes Up Front” and the “Legend” for various topics covered below in my “Live Updated” NHL 2010 Draft Preview article.

Tyler Pitlick (Click on name for up- to- date stats)

Tyler Pitlick in the mold of Ryan Callahan (Photo: THW)

Place of birth: Centerville, MN, USA
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 194

Shoots: R

Position: C
2009-10 Team: Minnesota State University – Mankato (WCHA)

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010

Date of birth: November 1, 1991

One-Timer:

Tyler Pitlick first picked up a hockey stick at the age of three because “a Pitlick family tradition is to play hockey every winter across the street from his grandmother’s house” says NHL.com.

In his 20 years of life, he’s moved far past pick-up games.

Pitlick served as Centennial High School’s hockey team captain during his senior year. He led both his team and the Northwest Suburban Conference in scoring that season (31-33-64 in 25 games) and was a finalist for the 2009 Mr. Hockey Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding senior hockey player in Minnesota.

Pitlick is poised to go in the mid to late first round of the draft and is favoured due to his size and strength, two-way play and skating ability.

Indications suggest he could be moving to the WHL and playing in Medicine Hat which would give him more games and more experience at a high level compared with staying at the NCAA level. He might just be poised to breakout more offensively as well.

I consider Pitlick one of the safest picks in this draft and one of the closest to be NHL ready, although will definitely benefit from at least one WHL season.

Scout’s Honor:

“Dominates faceoffs and in freshman year, is an excellent young prospect, a really good young skater and his ability to dominate a game at his level is truly impressive.”

-E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting

“Pitlick is excellent on the wing, where he can use his speed and size on the outside to drive to the net and use his heavy snap shot. He also possesses the ability to play center, and a year of college hockey has improved his defensive game tremendously. Despite being one of the youngest players in college hockey…he doesn’t back down from anyone physically, and has the strength to dish out his own punishment.”

-Western College Hockey Blog

A big hard-nosed centerman who can play with finesse and power. It’s that combination of skill and brawn that makes Pitlick such an intriguing prospect. … His hands are quick and smart and he moves the puck quickly with good accuracy. He plays smart all over and shoots the puck very well, with his feet moving.”
– International Scouting Services 2010 NHL Draft Guide

“Accelerates briskly out of cross-overs and blows by defenders. Has an NHL caliber shot right now. Flashed the ability to power through defenders to get to net. High energy level every shift. Can gain separation in corners with sharp twists and can turn on a dime. Patient playmaker. Long-limbed with farmboy like strength. Aggressive and finishes checks.”
– Red Line Report 2010 Draft Guide

“With little to no support on the roster, he was often forced to create and finish his own opportunities. He has a shoot first, ask questions later philosophy. At 6’2″ and 195 pounds, he still needs to fill out but has a good foundation from which to work with. Pitlick has a sizzling shot and he can pick corners, despite the fact that he scored only 11 goals this season.”
– McKeen’s 2010 NHL Draft Guide

Current Season:

2009-10:  As a freshman at Minnesota State, Pitlick played in 38 games, garnering 11-8-19 totals and 27 penalty minutes, and leading all freshman scorers at MSU. While Pitlick is listed as a center, he predominantly played on wing. He was a finalist for Minnesota’s 2009 Mr. Hockey Award, which goes to the outstanding senior high school hockey player in the state.

Bio/Interview(s)/Link(s):

Scouting Combine Performance:

He placed 4th in the Anaerobic Fitness: Fatigue Index test and the Hand-Eye test

International Tournaments: n/a

ETA = 2 years

Risk-Reward Analysis: Risk = 0.5/5   Reward = 4.25/5

NHL Potential: 2nd line two-way forward

Strengths:

*See “One Timer” section above*

  • · Skating ability
  • · Strength
  • · Defensive play
  • · Plays with an edge
  • · Faceoffs
  • · “Grinder”
  • · Likes to deliver hits
  • · Very good shot and release
  • · Competitive drive

Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:

  • Shot release/ability to one-time the puck
  • Play-making ability
  • Finishing quality chances

Fantasy Hockey Potential: Offensive = 8/10   Defensive = 8/10

NHL Player(s) Comparison: Pitlick says he tries to mimic the style of Colorado Avalanche center Peter Mueller. Others liken him to a “bigger Ryan Callahan.”

Video(s): NHL.com Highlights

Interesting Notes: Pitlick is the nephew of former NHL player Lance Pitlick, who played 393 career games with the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers.

Other Rankings:

CSB: 18

ISS: 20

TSN: 25 (Bob McKenzie’s Final Rankings)

McKeens: 35

THN: 21

THW:  30 (June  ’10) {Christopher Ralph }

*For all the latest prospect and draft news follow me on Twitter: The Hockey Spy

This document is the intellectual property of Christopher Ralph and cannot be used or duplicated in any way without expressed written consent. Any use of this document without the expressed written consent of Christopher Ralph will result in public exposure and legal prosecution.

Reference:
“Tyler has great offensive instincts. And along with that, one of the quickest releases I have coached in 20 years,” says Minnesota State head coach Troy Jutting. “He’s an extremely competitive kid who wants to be on the ice in critical situations.

“Tyler has worked hard to develop his game in the defensive end and this is an area he has improved greatly upon throughout the course of the season. He will continue to improve as his body matures.

“Coming from a hockey family, Tyler understands what it takes both on and off the ice in order to be a successful player.”

Christopher Ralph

Christopher Ralph

Managing Editor/Lead Prospect/Draft Analyst at THW
Chris is THW's senior draft/prospect analyst and a Managing Editor. Watch for Chris' regular column "The Next Ones" Prospect Profile series as well as the annual THW NHL Entry Draft Guide. Follow @ChrisRalphTHW on Twitter as he infiltrates, dissects and analyzes all happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft. Email: cralph[at]thehockeywriters[dot]com
Christopher Ralph
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