December 16 2008 01:48PM
One of the joys of the internet is the ability to read material from foreign news sources. As an example, both Al-Jazeera and the Jerusalem Post offer English websites; when things of interest happen in the Middle East, I like to look at both for different non-Western viewpoints. Al-Jazeera also offers much more comprehensive coverage of current events in Africa than nearly any western source; BBC is probably closest, but there is almost always value in understanding different viewpoints from people inside the region as opposed to just those presented by outsiders with a Western background.
In any case, the majority of foreign newspaper coverage is not available in English, but thanks to imperfect instruments like Google Translator, we can get a rough idea of what’s being said. With that in mind, there’s a rather interesting article in the “Evening Sheet” on Oilers’ prospect Linus “Unchecked” Omark. Anyone who reads Swedish, feel free to correct me, but as far as I can tell, the pertinent points are as follows:
- Omark is having a tremendous season in the Elitserien, and is now sitting second in total points in the league.
- The Oilers draft rights expire on July 1st, at which point Omark would be an unrestricted free agent.
- The Oilers have already asked Omark not to sign an SEL extension, as they will sign him to a North American contract for next season.
- Amateur scout Kent Nilsson has watched between 15-20 games of Nilsson’s and is thrilled with his progress.
- Oilers’ assistant GM Rick Olczyk is going to Sweden specifically to watch Omark, and given that he’s the Oilers’ contract guru, it probably isn’t reaching to suggest that contract negotiations will happen at that time.
- Omark was told at training camp that the Oilers would like him to come to North America next season, and he’s completely on board with it: “NHL är min dröm och får jag chansen kommer jag att ta den.” (Roughly: The NHL is my dream and if I get the chance I will take it.)
There are differing views on Omark’s potential as a player, particularly on a team already carrying multiple small, young, and offensively talented players. That said, it can only be viewed as a good thing that Omark is enthusiastic about playing in North America -– Alexei Mikhnov he isn’t.