Reasonable Expectations for AHL Prospects (C)

This is Ryan O’Marra, who is likely ticketed for the AHL this season.

O’Marra is a very famous prospect, owing mostly to his appearances in international competition. He is a double gold medalist with the Canadian National Junior Team, winning the gold medal at the 2006 and 2007 IIHF World Junior Championships.

His OHL career ended after 234 games, 94 goals and 223 points. Following the end of his OHL season in 2005-06, O’Marra made his pro debut, playing eight games with Bridgeport (AHL). He scored 4-1-5 in his eight regular season games and added one assist in three AHL playoff games.

The big question mark on O’Marra is with regard to injury. He was injured early and often last season, and a serious knee injury ended O’Marra’s postseason this spring.

For those who don’t know O’Marra well, he’s what Redline Report said about him on his draft day:
A RLR favorite. Can do it all. Very good skater with excellent, crisp edges, particularly for a big man. Works well in all three zones and is very smart positionally- knows where to be on the ice. Smart, heady player with good hands and a nose for the net. Has pro size and plays a ppro style game. Very willing to battle physically and can be dominant below the circles. Dangerous on both special teams, and uses his long reach effectively on PK unit to break up passes and transition to offence. Has very good offensive upside. Versatile, equally adept in the middle and on the wing. Gets to the net for scoring chances. Excelled in international competitions. Hasn’t learned to bring it every night as of yet; needs to develop consistency, but is determined and motivated.


  1. Rob Schremp (21)- Supreme skill met learning curve + work ethic and the results were mixed. Schremp’s AHL season wasn’t a disaster (53 points in 69gp) but his ppg number (.768) didn’t blow away the other Oiler picks of recent vintage (Stoll was .711, Pouliot was .692, Jacques was .677, Brodziak was .571) in their 20-year old seasons. He’s a talent, and the Oilers need him to deliver at some point. He underwent surgery in May repair the medial collateral ligament of his left knee (an injury suffered in an April AHL game). Reasonable expectations: Suspect Nilsson gets the NHL job out of the gate with Schremp ripping it up in Triple A. Remember, there was a time when Rob Nelson was going to be the first baseman of the future for the Oakland A’s, so it’s not always who goes north with the big club.
  2. Kyle Brodziak (23)- I think he has an excellent chance to be an end of the roster player out of camp for the Oilers. If not, he can continue to build a strong resume at the minor league level. More and more, Kyle Brodziak looks like this decade’s Rem Murray. Reasonable expectations: Another quality run in the AHL and plenty of time in the show.
  3. Andrew Cogliano (20)- I think he’ll be MacT’s favorite by the end of camp among the new kids on the block, but it’s extremely likely he spends most of his first pro season in the AHL. Excellent range of skills and plenty of signs he’ll have an NHL career. Reasonable expectations: A solid year in the AHL posting good offensive numbers and earning rave reviews for how well he plays the game in all areas.
  4. Ryan O’Marra (20)- If he came to camp healthy with NYI, there’s an outside shot he could make the big club. However, with the Oilers having so many prospects at a similar level on the development curve, I don’t think he gets a long look. Reasonable expectations: A healthy AHL season.
  5. Tyler Spurgeon (21)- Similar career progression to Brodziak, under the radar but delivering what is asked for in spades (save offense). Another famous junior ala Troy Bodie, he’ll need to start delivering at least some offense this season. Reasonable expectations: A full season in the AHL (he split time between AHL and Stockton last season).
  6. Jonas Almtorp (23)- This guy impressed in camp last fall and looks to have had another consistent season in the Swedish Elite League. He’s got decent size, is a good skater and is described as being aware of his defensive duties. Reasonable expectations: He’s arriving in North America after 150 games in the Swedish Elite League (11-14-25 career totals) so he should hit the ground running.
  7. Fredrik Johansson (23)- He’s the cousin of recently drafted Joakim Andersson, he’s a checking center in the Swedish Elite League and is at least a rung below Almtorp (he’s played only 110 SEL games, 2-7-9 totals). Reasonable expectations: Hard to say. If he doesn’t get an AHL job, he might end up going back to the SEL.

This is the strongest forward position for Springfield, with Schremp, Brodziak and Spurgeon having some AHL experience and two quality entry prospects (O’Marra, Cogliano) in the wings. Almtorp would also have to be considered a candidate for a strong AHL season.

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7 Responses to "Reasonable Expectations for AHL Prospects (C)"

  1. Black Dog says:

    A nice group of players. Schremp to the wing, I presume? Or Cogliano? I guess we’ll see.

    O’Marra is the guy I am most interested to see.

  2. thinking hurts says:

    I could see O’Marra as a possible Smyth replacement, this is of course debatable. TSN recently replayed the CDN vs. US World Jr. game from last year and he appeared to have large chunks of Smyth in him, maybe with some more sizzle?

  3. thinking hurts says:

    Oh yeah, just recently started reading blogs and wanted to say that yours is a very enjoyable to read. Keep up the good work, you and the other Oiler bloggers provide great information, analysis and in some cases sheer comedy that I otherwise would not receive here in the “Center of the Universe”

  4. jon says:

    Schremp I don’t think has the smarts or speed to transition to wing, likely Cogliano gets the nod for that. Pretty excited about our AHL team for next year though, some big, interesting players who could potentially flourish in the pro game (O’Marra, McDonald).

  5. Bank Shot says:

    So assuming Nilsson makes the big club, Lowe signs another UFA forward, and Stortini serves as pressbox fodder we’d have a lineup of something like:



    I like the backend a hell of a lot with 3 AHL all-stars. The forwards could definitely use a veteran or two though. An older scoring right winger and checking forward could make this team into one that could do some damage.

  6. Asiaoil says:

    If we can get a vet winger like Murray for Schremp then I’m all over that trade. Time to move him as long as his knee has healed.

  7. Dennis says:

    It will be interesting to see how Nilsson vs Schremp works out. The former’s got a year up on the latter so Kenta’s boy should get the longer look. And then when I consider that RS is truly the Oilers golden boy, then I think of how RN was acquired for Smyth so once again, he gets the push.

    I don’t know what the future holds for him though. Just thinking out loud but maybe he plays on a soft min line with Stoll plus while Horc and/ MP or Reasoner headman’s the top six tough min units, or maybe he goes down to the 4th line to die and his value is as someone who can drive the PP.

    I don’t think the Oilers are gonna be able to pick up someone that can eat the soft min and drive the ST so it’s probably gonna be Nilsson or Schremp. Nilsson hasn’t murdered the AHL but he’s been pretty much a PPG guy so he doesn’t have a lot to prove down there either. And I doubt he’ll ever care enough to learn how to play in the other two zones or that he’ll train hard enough to be able to win battles down low so his future is as a soft min and PP guy. That’s pretty much clear at this point.

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