Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Teemu Hartikainen Autograph Card

My show-and-tell is nearing its end. A reminder: I was lucky enough to get my hands on a box of Upper Deck's 2012-13 Fleer Retro cards for $160 (I've seen them go up to $250); they consist of 100 cards per box, including 6 autographs, which revisit classic Fleer and Skybox designs.

This was my sixth ''hit'' - the first one which wasn't a defenseman. It was of Edmonton Oilers prospect Teemu Hartikainen, who unfortunately left North America for the KHL's Ufa Salavat Yulayev:
Over the past three years that he was in North America, Hartikainen had several auditions with the Oilers, with boxcars of 52 GP, 6-7-13, -10, 16 PiM. He also played extensively in Oklahoma City, where he posted regular season numbers of 164 GP, 45-66-111, +6, 69 PiM, with an additional 11 goals and 13 assists in 37 career playoff games. His season to season numbers have persistently translated to an NHL equivalent of about 25 points (plus or minus 10%) per 82 games, whereas his actual production in the bigs was similarly on about a 20-point pace for a full season. Anticipated development in his offensive game was slow in coming, although Teemu’s strong performance (17 GP, 7-8-15) in the 2013 Calder Cup playoffs had provided some cause for optimism. He seemed well-positioned to make a strong bid for a full time job in the NHL come the fall. Suddenly he’s gone from RFA to UFA in one swell foop.
His 2012-13 in the AHL led me to believe he was going to turn into a potent second-or-third line winger - 14 goals and 37 points in 47 regular season games, and 7-8-15 in 17 playoff games, but it'S true that the KHL overpays for players aged 18-25 in their first few NHL contracts (the first of which is capped).

And I'm always happy to add an Oilers card to my collection:

It's a sticker autograph, signed in blue sharpie. It's from the 1999 Skybox insert sub-set (card #99-TH), found approximately in every 20 packs. It shows him wearing the Oilers' white (away) uniform.

Hartikainen was originally a 6th-round pick, 163rd overall. Chosen after him were Justin DiBenedetto (175th), Zac Rinaldo (178th), Jason Demers (186th), and Anders Lindback (207th).

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