The day the Oilers gave Ryan O’Marra a qualifying offer, they walked Marc Pouliot and Ryan Potulny. From that point forward, I think it was a lock that the Oilers would employ O’Marra at the big league level during the 10-11 season.
Why? The depth chart–as always–was so razor thin to begin the season it was only a matter of time before troops would be needed on the front lines.
The crazy thing isn’t that O’Marra played in the NHL this season. He was absolutely the most likely recall among Barons C’s as the season began. The crazy thing is that as the season ends I don’t know that O’Marra is ahead of any of the AHL centers on the depth chart. And they’ve just signed Lander.
Ryan O’Marra 10-11
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.12 (10th among forwards but DNQ)
- 5×4 points per 60: nil
- Qual Comp: 15th toughest faced among forwards but DNQ
- Qual Team: 12th best available teammates among forwards but DNQ
- Corsi Rel: -21.1 (17th best among forwards but DNQ)
- Zone Start: 60.4% (easiest among forwards)
- Zone Finish: 52.4% (6th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 13/7.7% (13th best among F’s but DNQ)
- Boxcars: 21gp, 1-4-5
- Plus Minus: -2 on a team that was -52
- What do these numbers tell us? Easy competition, best zone start available and his CorsiRel was still horrible. He played with either Jones-Reddox (17%) or Jones-Omark (17%) but I don’t think he showed a lot of offense. His faceoff percentage (42.1%) wasn’t a strong point, either. This was a great opportunity for him and I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue that he delivered.
- How could these numbers be better? All of the Oilers kids were skating uphill this season, but O’Marra isn’t really a kid. Of the group that we could consider actual hockey players, my vote for least impressive goes to O’Marra.
- How many C’s have passed him? I think O’Marra can see all of their taillights. Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano, Fraser, now Vande Velde. You could put O’Marra ahead of Kytnar and Arcobello if you like, but he’ll be 24 this fall and the team has signed Anton Lander. PLUS there’s talk of bringing in an actual NHL center this summer (I know, I know).
- Does he have any chance? Sure. Same chance as Jacques: the Edmonton Oilers see a hockey player there. O’Marra did have his moments this season in the NHL but I don’t think it’s enough to hold back the kids. Also, this is his second NHL organizaion and a good bet for next stop would be Europe.
- He played well in the AHL. Yes, on a line with Linus Omark and Liam Reddox. And when we say “played well” it’s important to give credit to faceoffs (he was apparently very good in OKC) and he was very physical. However, his offense in OKC (53gp, 2-20-22) included a streak of 18gp, 0-2-2 after all the skill had been recalled to the show. He didn’t force the recall, they ran out of bullets.
- What kind of player is he? O’Marra: “I’m a big centreman who plays physical down low. I’m good on the penalty kill and I win faceoffs.”
- Sounds like the Oilers could use him. They could use an NHL player with those skills.
- What impressed you most about him? I was impressed that he got a deal over Pouliot. That was exceptional. The only area he was better than Pouliot was in his physical play and that carried the day. A poor decision.
- You had him playing in the NHL this past season. Yes, the Oilers had so little depth I felt he’d play in the NHL this past season.