June 08 2010 06:42AM
Only seventeen days until we know if it will be Tyler or Taylor, but that won’t be the end of the debates in Oilerville, in fact; it’s just the beginning. After June 25th there will be plenty of other players/situations to discuss, including Jordan Eberle.
The 22nd pick in 2008 will come to camp with a legitimate opportunity to make the team, and his most direct competition will come from the 97th pick in 2007, Linus Omark. Omark is now 5”10’, 180 pounds and blessed with incredible skill,but he is the biggest question mark heading into camp.
What can the Oilers expect from Omark?
Maybe this if they get to a shoot out:
Pretty sweet move but I’m more impressed with the courage it takes to try that move in a game.
But the Oilers would probably prefer the following move since he did it in a game. Looks similar to what Daniel Sedin did to win play of the year on TSN.
Of course Omark will need more in his game than just a few highlight reel goals, and according to Kevin Lowe he has just what the Oilers are looking for.
“His game begins once a guy engages him in the corner. Once a player is on his back, he is good at spinning off, shifting away from the defender and beating guys. It looks like he doesn’t mind the rough stuff, which is what we need.
“He protects the puck very well, which is crucial because you need guys who won’t turn the puck over,” continued Lowe.
Omark’s ability and willingness to cycle the puck could make him a good fit with Dustin Penner. Penner’s best attribute is his ability to cycle the puck down low, make good passes in confined areas and go to the net. Omark could complement Penner very well considering, despite his size, he likes to cycle the puck and can spin off defenders very well.
Penner needs to play with guys who complement his game. Last year he added the ability to score on the rush, but he is most effective along the boards, battling defenders and then taking the puck to the net. He needs guys who can move the puck quickly and accurately in tight areas and Omark seems to fits the bill. If he truly doesn’t mind contact then he should get an extra long look in September, because the Oilers aren’t blessed with many skilled forwards who are willing to play in the tough areas.
Would it be too simplistic to say one of Eberle and Omark stays while the other goes to the Oklahoma City? It might be, but I sense that’s how it will play out.
Rob Daum coached Eberle for 20 games over two seasons in Springfield and so I asked him to describe Eberle’s offensive game.
“He has great offensive instincts and a great offensive mind. He goes to the tough areas and can make special passes. He slips into holes and off of people, but he doesn’t get as involved physically as Omark. He plays by moving instead of confrontation.”
Eberle and Omark have similarities in their game, but Daum’s last line explains perfectly the major difference of their games. It doesn’t make one better, just different. In the long run they might be able to complement each other very well, but when camp comes around I expect they will be battling for the same position.