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FUTURE WATCH
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Future Watch: Linus Omark

Highly skilled Swede turning heads in Edmonton & Oklahoma City

Wednesday, 10.11.2010 / 8:00 PM / Future Watch
By Bob Hersom  - OKCBarons.com
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Future Watch: Linus Omark
Linus Omark during this past Sunday's game vs. the Toronto Marlies. (Photo by Steven Christy / OKC Barons)

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On the Sunday radio broadcast of Oklahoma City’s latest miracle on ice - and the team’s first beyond-belief individual performance - Barons voice Jim Byers said:

“This is an all-timer right here,” as the game went into overtime, and “Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010, is Linus Omark Day,” as the game continued into a shootout.

Omark scored five goals, and added another in an eight-round shootout, as the Barons rallied past Toronto 7-6, after trailing 4-1 nine seconds into the second period.

A wondrous achievement, no doubt, for the skillful Swede. Five goals, and not just five goals, but his team’s final five goals. And he scored those five in a span of just 29 minutes and 27 seconds.

Still, Nov. 7, 2010, was no Feb. 5, 1997.

“My 10th birthday,” Omark explained, “I got 18.”

That’s 18, as in 18 goals scored by Omark in a game in Sweden the day he turned 10.

He’s only 23 now, and rapidly becoming the latest Oklahoma City fan favorite.

“It was unbelievable. Everything he touched went in the net,” said Barons captain Ben Ondrus, who, according to American Hockey League research, has been on three of th e last five AHL teams to have a five-goal scorer.

Until this year, Omark had played all of his hockey on the larger ice rinks of Sweden and, last season, in Russia. The adjustment clearly affected his played early this season.

“It’s a different hockey than what I’m used to,” Omark said of the U.S.-Canadian version. “There’s a lot get better in every game.”

Through the Barons’ first three games, all losses, Omark had no goals and no assists. Highly unusual for a winger who had 43 goals and 91 points in 109 games the previous two seasons.

Since then, he’s been fire on ice, blazing to 10 goals and 17 points in 12 games.

“When you compare big ice to smaller ice, when you get used to it, it’s the same hockey,” Omark said. “I had played on big ice my whole life and this season I’m playing on smaller rinks. So it’s going to take a few games, and I think I’m getting it pretty good now.”

Indeed. The five-goal game doubled his season total for goals, to 10. The 5-10, 175-pound Swede leads the Barons in that category as well as points (17 in 15 games).

“For a smaller guy, he has excellent balance and he’s strong,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “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.”

Omark was asked, “What’s the best part of your game.” His answer is telling - and intriguing news for Oklahoma City hockey fans.

“My creativity,” he said. “I try to learn new things in hockey, like things nobody’s done before.”

Which begs the question: What will Linus Omark do next?


2010-11 OILERS PROSPECT STATS

Forwards
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
Cameron Abney   19 18 3 1 4 -3 22 Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Alexander Bumagin   23 11 1 2 3 N/A 4 Novokuznetsk (KHL)
Philippe Cornet   20 10 0 2 2 -1 0 Oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Drew Czerwonka   18 18 6 5 11 -1 22 kootenay ice (WHL)
Alexandre Giroux   29 16 6 9 15 -4 22 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Curtis Hamilton   19 19 10 14 24 +17 6 saskatoon blades (whl)
Teemu Hartikainen   20 16 5 3 8 -10 13 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kellen Jones   20 8 3 3 6 N/A 19 quinnipiac university (ecac)
Milan Kytnar   21 15 1 4 5 -3 6 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Anton Lander   19 19 4 3 7 N/A 16 timra ik (sel)
Matt Marquardt   23 8 1 1 2 E 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan Martindale   18 19 11 15 26 +9 14 ottawa 67's (ohl)
Brad Moran   31 16 6 7 13 E 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan O'Marra   23 16 0 9 9 +7 21 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Linus Omark   23 16 10 8 18 +4 24 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ben Ondrus   28 16 1 2 3 -4 14 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kristians Pelss   18 17 1 3 4 -1 8 edmonton oil kings
Tyler Pitlick   19 13 4 8 12 -1 9 medicine hat tigets (whl)
Toni Rajala   19 16 5 4 9 N/A 2 ilves tampere (fnl)
Liam Reddox   24 16 7 7 14 +6 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Gregory Stewart   24 12 1 1 2 E 24 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Chris Vande Velde   23 15 3 1 4 -8 10 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Defencemen
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
Shawn Belle   25 16 1 13 14 -8 19 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jordan Bendfeld   22 4 0 0 0 N/A 20ky Stockton thunder (echl)
Kyle Bigos   21 6 0 2 2 N/A 20 merrimack college (h-east)
Jeremie Blain   18 2 0 1 1 N/A 2 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)
Taylor Chorney   23 16 0 4 4 E 12 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Brandon Davidson   19 18 2 11 13 -7 20 regina pats (whl)
Troy Hesketh   19 13 0 0 0 -6 24 chicago steel (ushl)
Martin Marincin   18 19 7 14 21 +3 25 prince george cougars (whl)
Johan Motin   21 12 1 2 3 +2 14 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Richard Petiot   28 15 0 4 4 +3 12 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jeff Petry   23 16 2 7 9 -12 8 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Alex Plante   21 16 1 2 3 E 39 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Goalies
Name Age GP W L T SO GAA PCT Team
Tyler Bunz   18 10 5 4 1 0 2.59 .907 medicine hat tigers (whl)
Martin Gerber   36 12 8 4 0 0 2.60 .908 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Bryan Pitton   22 3 2 0 0 1 0.96 .956 stockton thunder (ECHL)
Olivier Roy   19 13 8 5 0 0 2.49 .918 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)
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