The Edmonton Oilers will be without right winger Tyler Pitlick for the remainder of the season as the team announced Friday that he has suffered a torn ACL. The injury occurred in the third period against St. Louis on Monday night.
Pitlick, a second round pick of the Oilers back in 2010 (31st overall), was in his first full season with the team and had been providing them with good production from the fourth line. He had eight goals (tied for fifth on the team) and three assists despite averaging just under ten minutes per game.
In his career, the 25 year old has played in 58 NHL games, scoring 11 goals while adding three assists.
At least for the time being, the injury could open up a spot for rookie Jesse Puljujarvi to play more often although he’s expected to be scratched for Taylor Beck tonight. The fourth overall pick back in June has played in just four games this month while being a healthy scratch for the other seven. The Oilers declined to loan him for the World Juniors and if this injury doesn’t result in much more action for him in the short-term, a stint in the minors might not be a bad idea. As he wasn’t drafted out of the CHL, he is eligible to be loaned despite being under 20.
One other player who should see more action as a result of Pitlick’s injury is veteran Matt Hendricks who has played in just 11 games this season due to a lower body injury while being scratched frequently. It was reported earlier this month that he was on the trade block. A more regular role for him may make it a bit easier to move his $1.85MM cap hit closer to the trade deadline.