Omark

This is Linus Omark. Oilers drafted him 97th overall in 2007 as an overager (he was 20 on draft day).

The Oilers have had success drafting overage players both in Europe (Markkanen, Haakana, Pisa, Luoma) and in North America (Brodziak, Syvret, Roy).

In fact, their only real success with European players since Prendergast took over as head man have been with overagers in Europe and kids who have come over to play in the CHL (Hemsky).

Omark had a nice season in the SEL (55gp, 11-21-32) and his scouting report is interesting: A flashy player with first-class technical skills and hands. Very creative player with good hockey sense and natural scoring ability. Defense is okay, although it can be fine-tuned. Good skater with great agility and moves. Additional strength and muscles would not hurt.

Omark is small, 5-9. That’s Bobby Sheehan territory. Still the scouting report is interesting and Kevin Prendergast loves him (“Cogliano without the speed”) so after the 08-09 season ends and his contract is up in Sweden this is a player who might sign an entry deal with the Oilers.

Although Edmonton has had a lot of Swedes audition recently (Johansson and Almtorp) it’s been a terribly long time since the Kingdom of Sweden has blessed the Oildrop with a real talent. The last guy worth talking about was Bengt Gustafsson and he played for the WHA Oilers.

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29 Responses to "Omark"

  1. jon k says:

    I was thinking about Omark the last few days and how he’s quietly had a very good season in the SEL.

    For comparisons sake, the much heralded Fabian Brunnstrom put up 9-28-37 in 54 games in the SEL this season, while being almost exactly 2 years older than Omark.

    Furthermore, the reports are that Omark’s youth, inexperience, and defensive deficiencies have kept him off the top lines and substantially limited his icetime. Obviously this isn’t great news, but it’s also good news in that he’s putting up points despite not getting top icetime.

  2. Jonathan says:

    //Omark is small, 5-9. That’s Bobby Sheehan territory. Still the scouting report is interesting and Kevin Prendergast loves him (“Cogliano without the speed”) so after the 08-09 season ends and his contract is up in Sweden this is a player who might sign an entry deal with the Oilers.//

    According to Kent Nilsson, he’s 5-11. I’m doing a post on 4th round draft picks tomorrow, and most of it’s based on this interview with Kent Nilsson on him:

    http://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail-episode/128349/kent-nilsson-on-linus-omark

    Some highlights:
    “He’s going to be OK” and he’s a “playmaker goal-scorer”. No wonder we don’t draft Euros. Between Nilsson’s track record and his confidence in his picks I’d be reading the Hockey News Draft Preview to decide who I should pick.

  3. Jon G says:

    “The Oilers have had success drafting overage players both in Europe (Markkanen, Haakana, Pisa, Luoma)”

    Markkanen I see, the others not so much. 69 GP 1 Goal 4 Assists between the 3 of them and none have played in the NHL since pre-lockout

  4. Jonathan says:

    //Markkanen I see, the others not so much. 69 GP 1 Goal 4 Assists between the 3 of them and none have played in the NHL since pre-lockout//

    Pias was a 9th round pick, and far and away the most successful one from Kevin Lowe’s era. Haakana was an 8th round pick who’s had a decent career, with some of it in the NHL, and Mikko Luoma has also had a good career, some of it in the NHL. If you can get a “tweener” from rounds 6-9, you call it a successful pick.

  5. Backhand says:

    Mikko Luoma has also had a good career, some of it in the NHL

    I’ll agree those picks proved successful if you compare them to the history of players drafted in those rounds.

    But you can not say it was successful because of the great career the player had outside the NHL and outside your organization. It contributes nothing to the success of your pick.

  6. Lowetide says:

    I think any time a player makes the NHL (even for a cup of coffee) outside the top 100 picks every year it’s a successful draft. Seriously. NHL teams vacuum up all the talent by the end of the third round.

  7. honkey says:

    Well Brunnström was a rookie that played in Swedish Tier III the year before where he put up a massive 73p in 41 games.
    So his season was very impressive but it faded a little at the end.

    Omark on the other hand hade good start, a pretty bad stretch in the middle but finished season really strong and was the teams best player.
    He played on the 2nd line all year and almost every night played 17-20 min which is alot when your not on PK or 1st PP unit.
    He will for sure get a bigger role on the club next year and almost certain be on 1st PP unit.

    I agree that I wouldn’t make much of that interview with Kent, if my memory serve me right he said he played on the same line as Renberg which never happened.

    But I will predict he plays in NHL one, Omark has the will and motivation to make it happen.

  8. jon k says:

    17-20 minutes is pretty substantial as a figure by any means for a forward. Just goes to show that second hand knowledge and reports should be taken with a grain of salt.

    If only the Oiler’s procurement department delivered as much detail, thanks to ye Honkey.

  9. Graham says:

    surely Mats Lindgren, lowetide?

  10. Lowetide says:

    Graham: I’ve been waiting for someone to mention a Swede and it was a specific shot at Tommy Gun (Salo). I liked Salo deep into his Oiler career (longer than pretty much anyone else who posted around at that time) and he’s barely remembered now because of all the events that ended his Oiler career.

    But he is certainly worth remembering, and of course Lindgren as well. :-)

  11. Dennis says:

    It wasn’t Salo’s fault that Lowe let him rot the head off the ’04 season.

  12. honkey says:

    I was a bit optimistic of his icetime. He average 15 min over the season but at the end he played closer to 20 min and one game over 24 min and it didn’t go to overtime.

    Everything can be found here
    http://www.hockeyligan.se/index.php?season=2007&teamid=LHF&stats=listplayers&orderby=toipg&lang=sv&x=28&y=5

    And game by game
    http://www.hockeyligan.se/index.php?gamelist=list#regular

  13. Calvin says:

    Check out Omark’s puck magic. Robbie Shremp would be jealous…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndJ8lgEWk4E

    Also, I’d like to know how tall this guy really is. Before the draft an article on “sleepers” said that 5’9″ was “generous”.

    Here’s that link…
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=7649

  14. Lowetide says:

    I think the NHL and all these scouting services lie about hgt/wgt. Robert Nilsson is about 5-9 I’d say just watching him.

  15. RiversQ says:

    Meh, the Oilers are stacked with midgets already.

    “Cogliano without the speed” sounds like roadkill to me.

    How many sub 5’10″ players with average to below average wheels have had signficant NHL careers anyway?

  16. Lowetide says:

    RQ: Not many.

  17. Jonathan says:

    //But you can not say it was successful because of the great career the player had outside the NHL and outside your organization. It contributes nothing to the success of your pick.//

    I think a draft pick that winds up having a long AHL/top Euro league career with a cup of coffee reflects much better on your scouting staff than guys who wind up in the Central League. Close doesn’t count in some things, but with scouts, picking a tweener, a depth guy, a guy who almost made it is much more respectable than picking an ECHL healthy scratch. J-F Dufort was out of hockey a year after being drafted. Tyler Spurgeon has persevered despite numerous injuries. I don’t get angry at the scouts when I look at Spurgeon. I do when I look at Dufort.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: Dufort suffered a career ending concussion.

  19. Jonathan says:

    //I don’t get angry at the scouts when I look at Spurgeon. I do when I look at Dufort.//

    Let me take that back:

    The winger had good size and decent numbers to go with his collection of penalty minutes but his career came to a screeching halt the next season when he sustained a devastating injury. Dufort suffered a concussion after 51 games in 2002-03 and was forced to retire from the game when his health issues persisted well into the following year.

    Replace Dufort with Ivan Koltsov.

  20. Ribs says:

    Check out Omark’s puck magic. Robbie Shremp would be jealous…

    Geez, with guys like Schremp and Nilsson and now Omark, you’d think the Edmonton Oilers were the NHL version of the Harlem Globetrotters.

  21. Lowetide says:

    I can’t get that upset about Koltsov being a bust. He was chosen after the first 100 kids were off the board and he (like most of the 100+) failed.

    Jesse Niinimaki is worth getting upset about, although he too had some major injury problems.

  22. Cloned says:

    Some more highlights – granted some of these goals are against defensemen and goaltenders of lower calibre.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skWH9lZkgVU&feature=related

  23. Bendelson says:

    The European scouts get no love for their ‘valueable insight’ into the Grebs deal? Draft pick or not…

    Nothing?

    Sounds like Omark should stay put another year perhaps… try to shorten the lengthy duration in the AHL he is likely to require.

  24. dbanc says:

    Great Column/Blog! I enjoy it immensely! What about Willy Lindstrum?

  25. Bill Needle says:

    “Although Edmonton has had a lot of Swedes audition recently (Johansson and Almtorp) it’s been a terribly long time since the Kingdom of Sweden has blessed the Oildrop with a real talent. The last guy worth talking about was Bengt Gustafsson and he played for the WHA Oilers.”

    I guess you consider Robert Nilsson a Calgarian.

  26. Bruce says:

    it’s been a terribly long time since the Kingdom of Sweden has blessed the Oildrop with a real talent.

    How about Kent Nilsson? The Magic Man won a Cup here in a cameo appearance in ’87. Then there’s his kid, who is likely a dual citizen (born in Calgary, raised in Sweden). No doubt about “real talent” in either case.

    The last guy worth talking about was Bengt Gustafsson and he played for the WHA Oilers.

    Bengt-Ake played very briefly for the WHA Oilers, just two games in 1978-79 playoffs (1-2-3). Showed just enough to tease the Oilers into naming him as one of our two protected skaters in the “Expansion draft” a.k.a. roster rape of the incoming WHA teams. Oilers chose Gustafsson over the likes of Dave Langevin so it wasn’t a decision to be made lightly. Later John Ziegler ruled the Oilers had done some under-the-table dealings with BAG and just awarded him outright to the Crapitals. No early ruling to allow Oilers to choose a different option, Ziegler waited until after the fact and just fucking stole one of our two skaters. (I’m still incensed.)

    Luckily our other protected skater was worth more than entire rosters full of NHL players.

    As for Gustafsson, he went on to become a useful all-around player for Washington through the ’80s. BAG was a consistent 60+ point scorer, though his +/- was all over the map depending on his role. A very nice player who would have fit beautifully in the Oilers’ dynasty due to his all-around game and adaptability.

  27. ClaytonMagnet says:

    “Cogliano without the speed”

    Isn’t that like saying Hemsky without playmaking ability, or Souray without a slapshot? Why waste a contract on someone like this?

  28. Jamie says:

    Omark is of the same mold as Martin Gelinas. He is gritty… anyone that plays in Luleå and comes from Overtorneå has to have some grit (Cdn equivalents: like growing up in Whitehorse and playing WHL in Prince George).

    Based on the breakthrough of Gagner and Cogs, Omark will be in tough to make the Oilers in the coming years… but who knows. Todd Marchant made a career for himself.

    If anyone is interested, my blog entry about seeing Omark play is at http://scoutingsweden.blogspot.com/2008/01/omark-my-words.html

  29. uni says:

    “Cogliano without the speed”

    I think we may be taking that the wrong way. I believe the intent was he is as heady and skilled as Cogs but without the same game-breaking all-world speed; that doesn’t necessarily mean the kid doesn’t have decent to good wheels on him.

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