Oilers sign O’Marra

A year ago, the Oilers were so razor thin at center that I posted that he had a real chance to make the big club. This was apparently the topic of conversation amongst msm in the pressbox with the general thrust of their conclusions being no chance in hell.

O’Marra was sent down to start the season but was recalled in early December and played 21 games with the Oilers. O’Marra was signed today by the Oilers (reportedly $735,000/$70k split), but I’m struck by how much things have changed for this player in 12 months. He still has a chance to make the big club, but several names are either past him now (RNH, probably Lander) or more in the conversation for possible callup than they were a year ago (VandeVelde, Kytnar, House).

A year ago, the depth chart looked like this:

  1. Shawn Horcoff
  2. Sam Gagner
  3. Andrew Cogliano
  4. Colin Fraser
  5. Ryan O’Marra
  6. Brad Moran (AHL vet)
  7. Chris VandeVelde
  8. Milan Kytnar

That’s about right, you might move Moran up or include Brule on the depth chart but these were the men Edmonton had available to do the chores a year ago. Fast forward 12 months and it’s a whole new ballgame:

  1. Sam Gagner
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  3. Shawn Horcoff
  4. Eric Belanger
  5. Anton Lander
  6. Ryan O’Marra
  7. Mark Arcobello (AHL)
  8. Chris VandeVelde
  9. Tanner House
  10. Milan Kytnar

I’m not really sure how to slot the OKC kids, but it seems to me Lander has the edge over the other kids ticketed for the minors and that O’Marra still ranks ahead of VV and House (Kytnar’s numbers look good but he appeared to play depth minutes in OKC behind Moran-O’Marra-VV a year ago. He looks like a prospect to me, certainly worth watching). Arcobello is a complete wild card.

O’Marra is a right handed center on a team with several lefties and the Oilers have hung onto him this long because they clearly see a player. We’ll see.

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