Where should Tyler Pitlick play this year? Edmonton? Oklahoma City? Medicine Hat?
He could play in all 3 cities, even though he was just drafted this year. Because Pitlick played NCAA hockey last year with Minnesota State he could suit up in the AHL. During the summer the Oilers 2nd round pick (31st overall) jumped ship to the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL, and that's where most expect him to play, but is that the best for his development?
Pitlick will turn 19 on November 1st and plays a rugged style with his 6.02, 195 pound frame. So to me it's not inconceivable for him to play in the AHL this year. (photo courtesy Edmontonjournal.com)
Some say he's only played one year of college and he needs more time. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks think one year is enough as they will both have Jerry D'Amigo and Nick Leddy playing pro this year after their freshman years of college hockey.
There is also word that Pitlick will play the wing in Medicine Hat. If he was in Oklahoma City, the Oilers could keep him in the middle.
At the very least I think Minnesota native could start in the AHL and see how he fares before joining Medicine Hat. After all, I feel that if the Oilers weren't already breaking in 3 or 4 rookies this year, Taylor Hall and Tyler Pitlick might have followed the same path as Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly did last year in college.
Now don't take this as me thinking playing for Shaun Clouston and the Tigers won't develop Pitlick, because the Tigers are going to be one of the best teams in the WHL this year, it's just that if Pitlick were to succeed in the AHL this year, then you could pencil him in for the 3rd or 4th line centre battle next year along with guys like Chris Vande Velde and Ryan O'Marra.
What do you think?