Desjardins NHLE Invades Europe

I believe this to be Linus Omark (right) and of course Art Garfunkel to the left (I kid). Still, it does look like a folk duo photo, further indication that hockey stars in Europe seem to get the really good and creative photographers.

I have a real concern with this year’s Desjardins NHLE’s. It’s the same one I should have had the year Robbie Schremp put up those ridiculous numbers in London that one time.

Linus Omark had a monster season in the Swedish Elite League (SEL). Desjardins’ Magic Number barely slows down the monster and without time-on-ice totals we’re left to assume it’s an actual level of ability.

I’m not certain it is. First of all, Omark and one other player on his team (Johan Harju) lap the rest of the team badly (point totals: Omark-55; Harju-49; next guy-29) which implies lots of ice and powerplay time. Second, this is his breakout season, so we need to be very sure it’s a real level of ability before telling the world he’s Gretzky (well, okay-Cliff Ronning). Third, his total is not an historic high, this isn’t Phil Esposito 70-71. Finally, youtube. I have a feeling that a lot of the hype surrounding this player has to do with that youtube video–which is fine–but that doesn’t really tell us about the player and what he is as a player right now.

With that as the backdrop, let’s proceed. However, let’s remember what she said: the man in the gabardine suit is a spy.

European NHLE’s (per 82gp) 08-09

  1. Alexei Mikhnov (26) (RSL) 23-27-50
  2. Linus Omark (21) (SEL) 21-29-50
  3. Dragan Umicevic (23) (SEL) 11-17-28*
  4. Mikael Zhukov (23) (RSL) 10-11-21
  5. Alexander Bumagin (21) (RSL) 7-14-21
  6. Teemu Hartikainen (18) (SM-L) 15-5-20
  7. Josef Hrabal (23) (SEL) 0-8-8
  8. Johan Motin (18) (SEL) 0-3-3

I don’t have the numbers for people like William Quist because they didn’t play in their respective elite leagues. I have an asterisk for Umicevic because he’s no longer Oilers property (but it’s an interesting season he just put in). Jani Rita? 11-12-23.

A few final notes:

  • The younger the better. By that I mean Hartikainen and Bumagin had similar seasons but the Finn did it at age 18. Huge difference that favors Hartikainen.
  • One final note on Omark: the best way I can put it is that imo we don’t really know he’d be better than Nilsson given Robert’s minutes and linemates. I’m prepared for disagreement here but the lack of TOI totals hamstrings the entire process. We don’t know how many at-bats Linus Omark got this season.
  • The two players I’d be most interested in seeing this fall at TC (now that Omark isn’t coming) are Mikhnov and Hartikainen. Plus Mrs. Robinson, of course.

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