Friday, June 25, 2010

Will Pitlick be MSU's first first-rounder?

The NHL draft begins tonight in Los Angeles, and Minnesota State's Tyler Pitlick is expected to be a first-round pick. If the center taken in the top 30, he'll become the first player with MSU ties to be taken in the first round. Pitlick is coming off a freshman season for the Mavericks in which he had 11 goals and eight assists but also appeared poised to have a breakout sophomore year. Unfortunately for MSU and the Mankato-area hockey fans, he won't be coming back and will be playing major junior hockey with the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Here's what folks are saying about Tyler Pitlick.

TSN had a couple of mock drafts and both have Pitlick going 25th to the Vancouver Canucks. Said analyst and apparent college-hockey hater Pierre McGuire:

He plays university hockey but has the potential to play for the Medicine Hat Tigers. Everyone knows his uncle is Lance Pitlick, and if he has the same character as his uncle, he'll be amazing, because he has even better skill than Lance.

Said TSN's Scott Cullen:

Pitlick is a pro-sized forward who needs to prove he can score after uninspiring numbers (11 G, 8 A, 19 PTS in 38 GP) as a freshman.  Will play for Medicine Hat in the WHL next season. 

The Toronto Sun has Pitlick going 27th to the Montreal Canadiens, saying the Habs need to take skill in the middle, while the Montreal Gazette predicts that he'll go 24th to the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

Inside College Hockey took a look at Pitlick among other college players in the draft. You can read that story here. It quotes a scout who, although he thinks Pitlick will fall to the second round, saw much improvement in his game from one viewing to the next, saying:
I think he'll probably slide to the second round. The first time I saw him, I wasn't too impressed. The second time I saw him, he was the best player on the ice. He played in all situations, and he was good on the power play, where he played one of the points. He's got deceptive speed. When he's got the puck on his stick, he can really go. It doesn't seem like he's moving that fast, but no one on the ice can catch him. Once he gets quicker and gains another step, look out. But he's not afraid to get the dirty goals, either. He'll take the puck right to the net and drive to the far post.

Again, I think Pitlick was due to have a monster season in his second year in the WCHA and college hockey. Remember, he turned 18 on Nov. 1 but didn't often play like a youngster. Although he had just one goal in the Mavericks' playoff series against St. Cloud State, he may have had his best weekend in an MSU uniform. It was, alas, his last weekend in an MSU uniform.

Also this weekend, watch for MSU recruits Max Gaede and Brett Stern to be drafted. They will be coming to Mankato in 2011.

1 comment:

hockey25 said...