630 CHED Sports
With the Oilers out of the playoffs again, general manager Steve Tambellini is encouraged by the play of the prospects on the Oklahoma City Barons in the AHL playoffs. He's been especially impressed by forward Tyler Pitlick, who the Oilers took 31st overall in the 2010 draft.
"(It's great) to see the difference from how he looked at the beginning of the year to how he looks now playing in a playoff game. Powerful, wants the puck, being able to have the strength to take it to net," said Tambellini. "Playing the point on the power play, which I didn't expect, but he did and he played well. Those are the kinds of things where you see the arrow pointing up and say, of course these guys are going to get a chance."
Pitlick is the type of player the Oilers need as they build around the top draft picks. "We need that heaviness to play along with our skill. It's not just heavy, tough players. It's players who have to be able to play with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Magnus Paajarvi, Taylor Hall, or Jordan Eberle. You're not just talking about an aggressive player," explains Tambellini.
Tambellini still has to meet with Tom Renney to discuss the coach's future. Renney's contract expires at the end of June. First, Tambellini will meet with amateur scouts before heading to the world championship in Finland and Sweden.
Tambellini continues to stress patience to fans. "Would we like to accelerate the whole thing by a couple of years? Yes. But we can't make players two or three years older." (jrw)