This is Linus Omark. He’s starting to find the range in Oklahoma, and would have to be considered a strong option for callup when injuries hit or slumps continue. Just how well is he doing with the Barons? The best way to look at prospects and how they’ll adjust to the NHL game is to have a long look at even-strength statistics. Omark is a very effective player.
The Oklahoma City Barons have played enough hockey for us to get a good idea about each player’s current level of ability. Although staring at the boxcars is fun, this tends to skew the view since it is extremely unlikely that any AHL player will spend a lot of time on an NHL powerplay upon recall. A possible exception would be Linus (the pinus) Omark. The young Swede is showing splendid progress at even strength. Here are the OKC forwards and the EV numbers:
- Linus Omark 14gp, 5-3-8
- Brad Moran 14gp, 3-5-8
- Liam Reddox 14gp, 4-3-7
- Alex Giroux 14gp, 3-4-7
- Colin McDonald 14gp, 4-1-5
- Teemu Hartikainein 14gp, 2-2-4
- Milan Kytnar 13gp, 1-3-4
- Ryan O’Marra 14gp, 0-4-4
- Matt Marquardt 8gp, 1-1-2
- Chris Vande Velde 13gp, 1-1-2
- Ben Ondrus 14gp, 1-1-2
- Gregory Stewart 10gp, 0-1-1
- Philippe Cornet 10gp, 0-1-1
AHL rookies in bold, Omark is not considered a rookie due to his experience in the SEL and KHL. He’s a rugged winger despite his lack of size (5.10, 175) and should be able to impact a game in more than one way. He’s been caught cherry picking a little and his coach says he needs to learn a little more about how to play away from the puck (source: Bob Stauffer interview on Team 1260).
However, he’d be my choice for first callup from this list. Other items of interest include a nice run from veterans Reddox and McDonald and some nice offense from Hartikainen and Kytnar. All four rookies should be better in the season’s second half, although Philippe Cornet appears to be lagging behind the group. Vande Velde started slowly but has improved in the last few games.
I’d also like to make special mention of Liam Reddox and Ryan O’Marra, who play the PK often and would have to be considered for callup based on the Oilers most glaring need. Now the blue.
- Shawn Belle 14gp, 0-4-4 -4
- Jeff Petry 14gp, 1-2-3 -8
- Taylor Chorney 14gp, 0-3-3 +2
- Richard Petiot 14gp, 0-3-3 +2
- Alex Plante 14gp, 1-1-2 E
- Johan Motin 11gp, 1-0-1 +2
There’s some chaos on that top pairing but the other kids (Chorney, Plante and Motin) are settling in well. If the Oilers were the Red Wings they’d keep the whole damn bunch on the farm until 2011 fall. Chorney could use at least a year of this and Petry is spending a lot of time playing Meg Ryan in The Deal (which is to be expected).
A conservative estimate: there are three defensemen who are keeping Tom Renney up late at night: James Vandermeer, Jason Strudwick and Kurtis Foster (and not in that order).
Footspeed issues, chaos puck movement and all those forwards flying by and making the blue look like a house on the side of the road are the stuff of nightmares.Which leaves him Ryan Whitney, Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid trying to establish himself as a top 4 defender and a still developing Theo Peckham.
Who do you recall? Petry needs more time, Chorney is having some success and Plante is very similar in style to Vandermeer and Strudwick. I suspect it’s Belle or Petiot. The kids aren’t ready.
The Oilers have all kinds of options. Reddox and O’Marra can PK, and O’Marra might be a reasonable option in the faceoff circle (the AHL doesn’t release the FO information, they fear the world would go all Reefer Madness). But I think Omark is the most interesting item on the farm. Scoring goals is still the hardest thing to do in hockey, and Omark seems able.