Teemu Hartikainen is looking to claim a full time gig this season with the Edmonton Oilers. After spending the last two seasons being one of the “first callups” with the Oklahoma City Barons, Hartikainen has gained some traction in trying to stay full time with the Oilers.
Hartikainen is a player that a lot of people in Oilerville hope will catch on permanently with the Oilers this season. Hartikainen is a bigger, more bullish winger with some offensive upside. What he hasn’t shown thus far is an ability to sustain his play for a long period of time. He has five career goals in 29 games, playing with a lot of mixed results. Hartikainen still needs to work on his quickness and get to the hit a half step earlier. He’s not winning enough of those mini battles that occur during the course of the game. The Oilers need Hartikainen to take on a power forward role but I’m not sure when Hartikainen is going to be ready to grant them that.
If I Could Grant One Wish – Role: Hartikainen has been thrust in a lot of different roles in his short tenure on the Oilers. It’s the life of a first callup from the farm club. What Hartikainen needs first, is an opening on the wing to occur and then, seizing that opportunity. Nothing is going to be given to Hartikainen. He is going to have to morph himself into a Ryan Jones type and do a little bit of everything. Score a little, penalty kill a little, battle for pucks and overall, be tough to play against. That’s how he will bring the most value to the Oilers.
Prediction For 2013 – Will Play More Game for OKC Than He Will For The Oilers: As much as I’d like to see Hartikainen come out and grab an Oilers’ roster spot, more realistically I see him being a depth player. His chance to grab a spot may come in time, but right now, the Oilers have too many forwards to go through and few roster spots. Hartikainen is more likely to get an opportunity through injury or trades, like before. The next time around, he will have to be more ready to seize that opportunity.