#8 Prospect: Linus Omark

Winter 2009: #6
Summer 2010: #7

Winter 2010: #8

Linus Omark is playing well in the AHL. After 23 games, he’s 12-11-23 +5. On the powerplay, the young Swede is 4-4-8. He’s tied for 12th in league scoring and has certainly gotten himself noticed in 10-11.

Omark’s problem on this top 20 is his problem in the organization. He’s a really good player surrounded by guys who are just as good or better. And every damn one of them is younger. He’ll play in the NHL, but I don’t know if his career will be as an Oiler.

That said, there’s plenty about this player to like.

Gabriel Desjardins NHL equivalencies have been telling us that Omark can play in the big leagues for several years now:

  • (Age 19) 82gp, 10-12-22 (.268)
  • (Age 20) 82gp, 13-23-36 (.439)
  • (Age 21) 82gp, 21-29-50 (.610)
  • (Age 22) 82gp, 23-15-38 (.463)
  • (Age 23) 82gp, 19-18-37 (.451)

Through the fjords and saab’s of Sweden to водка country and now on to tornado alley in America, Linus Omark has shown he can score goals and impact the offense. He’s a cherry picker, but he also has tremendous imagination and some real gumption. He’s no wallflower this one.

5.09, 170. Omark scored 5 in one game earlier this season and that kind of firepower can’t be ignored. Some comments from coach Todd Nelson:

  • “That was an outstanding effort (the 5 goal game) from an individual in Linus Omark and that line in general.”
  • “For a smaller guy, he has excellent balance and he’s strong. He’s very creative mentally, and he has excellent skills. So, when you combine those, it’s hard to take the puck away from a guy like that. He has the presence to hold onto the puck and make plays.”

The first scouting report we received on Omark was from elite prospects:

  • 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.
  • McKeen’s: A player who relies on his industrious and inventive offensive game .. a good, smooth skater who accelerates well and has a decent, albeit not blistering, top gear. elusive and slippery with puck and has a wide variety of dekes in his arsenal .. wants to play fancy and entertain the crowd, which at times hurts his effectiveness .. handles himself well physical despite his rather smallish frame, moves without hesitation in and out of traffic and keeps up a good intensity level, is not however a hard hitting forechecker and is not aggressive when it comes to contact .. .average defensive coverage, as he always thinks of the offensive opportunities that could arise first .. quick and fairly hard wrist shot, but his slapper lacks both accuracy and velocity .. very strong offensive vision and is the type of winger who enjoys setting up pretty plays just as much as finishing them off himself .. poised in all offensive situations thanks to his playful, yet determined, approach to the game of hockey.

Omark caused a bit of a stir at the end of training camp. He said (among other things) that “there’s a lot of politics here” and we know the Edmonton Oilers have exceptional radar for that kind of thing (ask Hershey’s richest visitor). Will it cost him? History tells us it might.

Remember that old MacT line about it’s what you give up along with what you accomplish? I think that’s what we’ll eventually find out about Omark. Offensively, he’s a gem and he’s a strong guy who can win battles (at least in the AHL). There’s little doubt (Desjardins has been tracking him for years now) that this player could score 20 goals as a top 6F at the NHL level. The question we have to ask (and have asked about many players over the decade, including Nilsson, Schremp and others) is “does he help you win?”

I think Linus Omark has done enough to have earned the opportunity.

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