Linus Omark Bound for Russia


According to a European newspaper, Linus Omark has agreed to join Moscow Dynamo for the 2009-10 season. A translation has been provided at HFBoards.

Many thought that they would go to the NHL. But the huge money in the Russian KHL was more appealing. Today both Johan Harju and Linus Omark signed with big club Dynamo Moscow.
– I can confirm that it is true, says player agent Patrik Aronsson.

There’s bound to be blame on both ends; some will blame Omark for not doing whatever it takes to make the NHL, while others will blame the Oilers for being unwilling to give Omark a guaranteed roster spot. There’s truth to both points of view.

There is, however, one point of view which cannot be argued. Linus Omark, one of the finest offensive talents currently outside the NHL will not be an option for the Oilers next season, and that’s undoubtedly a bad thing. By way of comparison, here’s his stats line and that of Fabian Brunnstrom:

  • Omark: 53GP – 23G – 32A – 55PTS
  • Brunnstrom: 54GP – 9G – 28A – 37PTS

When you consider that Omark was a full year younger than Brunnstrom, those totals become even more remarkable. Based on the performance of players coming from different leagues to the NHL, Gabriel Desjardins developed a projection system to give a ball-park idea of a player’s likely contribution. Here is his projection for Omark over an 82 game schedule:

  • Omark: 82GP – 28G – 39A – 67PTS

That’s hardly an iron-clad number, but it does give us an idea of what players who post Omark’s numbers in Europe typically do in the NHL. Whether Omark would have been able to achieve that or not is an open question, but one thing is for sure – after an excellent job by the European scouting department to identify a late round pick, and after years of development in Sweden, Linus Omark was a very intriguing option for the Edmonton Oilers next season. The fact that he isn’t coming over can only be regarded as a negative, and if in fact the reason for his defection was that the Oilers refused to guarantee an NHL roster spot (as has been reported), somebody should lose their job.

This is the same team that’s spent roster spots on marginal talents like Liam Reddox and Jeff Deslauriers just in this past season – there’s no reason not to guarantee Omark a spot as 14th forward. This was a low-risk, high-reward scenario, and if that was the sticking point it was a bad one.

  • Hippy

    kingsblade wrote:

    He’s also 2 years older than any of the Swedish players picked ahead of him. He had better be better than them right now.

    So it may be but the point is that he isn't a 4:th rounder today and paying rookie max, I predict, would have been considered a steal, three-four years from now.

    Players devolope there game in different strides and Omark has really taken off from about the last half of the 07/08 season. I personally belive that Oilers either have underestimated his progress or knows about it and have decided to take the organisation in another direction [read: no "small" guys].

  • Hippy

    You can't just start giving out Rookie Max ELS SPC's to 4th rounders.

    That is setting a very bad precedent for the rest of your draftees & is negotiating from a very slippery slope.

    The kid obviously has some talent, but why (bonus cushion aside) does he, or should he, automatically get to make the same amount of coin as Sam does when he was picked 91 picks later in the Draft..?

    The NHL/NHLPA/IIHF/KHL need to sort this rule out & get their act together soon, or we are going to see a lot more Eric Lindros & Blake Wheeler types of cases where they are making of mockery out of the draft & what it stands for.


  • Hippy

    Is this one of the biggest scouting misstakes made, we can only wait and see, or maybee the oilers thought too get a easy cheap try out with their team as the only option, for a hungry high skill ready nhl player in my opinion.

    omark one of the four candidate for rookie of the year in sweden 2006-2007 motivation`: "a modern hard working forward that this season led one of his teams two offensive lines despite hes still a junior player"

    i have follow this guy for a couple of year now,this guy isnt a fake hes the real deal, this season he carried his team lulea on his shoulder (they were expected to be one of the last two teams in the leauge before the season true all the experts) they finished 5th and made it to the playoffs.

    he made his debute in the swedish national team(7 games) and defiently gonna play in the world cup for sweden.

    he has a great vision for the game great hands, his balance at the skates is extraordinary. mikael renberg (legion of the doom)has only seen one swedish player who can compare with his balance that is red wings tomas "the beat bag" holmstrom.

    he were only offer half the maximum rookie payout,if he become a free agent next year, i think some of the oilers management gonna fit in some donkeysuits next year.

  • Hippy

    Hey Jonathan,
    Way to stay on top of the news, even from Sweden! Omark saw the writing on the wall and chose friendship over NHL. Too many people on HF seem to think the NHL is the be all and end all, when a hockey player today in fact has many more paths to choose. Omark's friendship with Harju, some Rubles, and not riding buses in the AHL were deciding factors.
    An Oiler scout or staffer taking the fall for this loss seems a bit rash. Although your point about Reddox is spot-on.