On the same day that reports out of Europe indicated that Linus Omark had spurned the Oilers contract offer to sign on with Moscow Dynamo, Swiss hockey magazine Slapshot reported that the Oilers (along with Chicago and Toronto) were pursuing undrafted Swiss forward Andres Ambuhl (h/t HFBoards).
Ambuhl’s spent the last eight seasons playing for Davos of the top Swiss league, but this year he put up career best numbers – 17 goals and 24 assists in 50 games. Despite that, it makes no sense for the Oilers to pursue this player.
For starters, he isn’t any bigger than Omark – listed at 5’9”, 191lbs. Secondly, the Swiss league isn’t nearly as strong as the Elitserien. Yesterday I used Gabriel Desjardin’s league equivalency to project Omark’s totals in the NHL. Here they are again, along with Ambuhl’s projected totals:
- Omark: 82GP – 28G – 39A – 67PTS
- Ambuhl: 82GP – 12G – 17A – 29PTS
As if that weren’t bad enough, Ambuhl’s older (turns 26 before next season) and his previous career high in points was 26 (last season). Maybe he’s just a late bloomer, but based on his track record with Davos it’s pretty clear that this season is the exception rather than the rule.
I’m a big fan of trying to recruit undrafted players out of Europe, but recruiting a pint-sized forward who is older and scored fewer points in an inferior league rather than signing a first-rate prospect like Omark makes little sense to me.
And that is why I don’t especially believe this rumour.