Teemu Hartikainen is one of only seven players who have played at least one game all three Barons seasons. He scored the first goal in Barons history.
Hartikainen will leave sometime this weekend for the Edmonton Oilers training camp but might play for the Barons on Saturday night. Once he reports to Edmonton it could be the Finland native's final appearance in OKC since he's projected to stick all season with the Oilers.
“It's been a long work in progress for me,” Hartikainen said. “Nelly (coach Todd Nelson) has helped me a lot. I really appreciate what he's done for me. North American hockey has been teaching me a lot. Every year you learn more and more.”
A sixth-round draft choice, Hartikainen has scored 100 points in 153 games with the Barons.
“He's a guy who needed to be here and work on his game,” Nelson said. “He's gotten a lot better in a lot of different aspects. He's interesting. He's pretty versatile. He's developed into a good player on the power play in front of the net. If given the opportunity, I think he's ready to make that jump.”
TWO DEFENSEMEN GET TRYOUTS
Rookie defenseman Justin Schultz was second in the AHL in scoring with 48 points before joining Edmonton after the NHL lockout ended. Schultz logged 30 minutes a game.
With Martin Marincin out with an illness and Alex Plante a healthy scratch, two defensemen the Barons recently signed were part of the rotation Friday night. Both are ECHL free agents. Andrew Hotham, 26, played for Wheeling. Kane Lafranchise, 24, played for Anchorage.
Both attended college after junior hockey before turning pro. This is Lafranchise's third pro season, Hotham's second.
OIL SPILLS ...
Brandon Davidson is finished with chemotherapy treatment and will skate Saturday morning at the team's skate around. ... Forward Philippe Cornet, an AHL All-Star last season, was a healthy scratch. Cornet hasn't scored in eight games with the Barons after scoring 23 points in 18 games with Stockton. ... The Barons are giving away a dozen vehicles this season, including a Ford Edge on Saturday night. ... Tyler Pitlick was minus-4, while Magnus Paajarvi and Anton Lander were minus-3. ... Ejected midway through the third period, Dane Byers leads the team with 126 penalty minutes.
By Mike Baldwin