The Oilers have been in need of a big, physical right-handed centre for quite some time. Though it's been a long wait, Tyler Pitlick might be that man. We've liked him for a long time, before he was even drafted by the Oilers, in fact. He's shown well at rookie camp and training camp, displaying a heavy shot, the ability to cycle in the zone and a willingness to lay people out when necessary. He's become a grown-up version of his pre-draft scouting report.
Pitlick is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Oklahoma City, and that's why we've made him our November wallpaper. Once again, our wallpaper has been provided by the extremely talented Candace Riley. Candace writes about the Barons at the OKC Barons Hockey Blog.
You can find the high resolution version of the wallpaper here. You can also peruse Candace's impressive collection of photos and buy prints of her best work at SmugMug.
Pitlick slipped to #13 in our Top 25 Under 25, as some of our panel lost confidence in him. But he's taken to the professional game surprisingly well.
Scott Reynolds watched Pitlick take on the Abbotsford Heat and came away impressed:
Pitlick - He surpassed my expectations the most of any player in the game. He was able to keep up with the speed and physicality very well. There were a couple of instance when he tried to make a skill play when something more conservative would have worked better, especially in the defensive zone (one example: in the defensive zone, he tried to steal a puck by kicking it up to himself, but missed and lost position on his mark). On the other hand, he seemed very conscious of not getting caught in the offensive zone, which was great to see. I doubt he makes it to Edmonton this season, but this was a very encouraging viewing.
Interested in having your picture or original artwork featured as our wallpaper of the month? Let us know.