Now that the lockout appears over, there are many players that will be returning to their respective NHL teams from overseas. Other former NHL players who have had a strong season in deeper than normal European may garner interest from NHL teams as well, with Linus Omark being one such player.
Omark has experienced great success with EV Zug in the Swiss-A league, playing on the top line with the Detroit Red Wings’ Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg. Brunner leads the league in scoring with 25 goals and 57 points in 32 games, while Omark is second on the team with 13 goals and 45 points.
The Edmonton Oilers still own Omark’s rights but might be willing to trade him. With their deep stable of prospects it is likely they just weren’t happy with his production. In 65 career NHL games, he managed just eight goals and 30 points – far below his production at all other levels. The 2010-11 AHL campaign saw him net 14 goals and 31 points for the Oklahoma City Barons in just 28 games. He spent 18 games in the AHL last season, with six goals and 16 points. A broken ankle sidelined him for a good portion of the season and cost him a shot at being called up to replace Taylor Hall.
Omark’s low production at the NHL level thus far should keep his price tag on the low end, and there may be more than a few NHL clubs willing to give him a chance. If he can duplicate even part of his overseas production, he could prove to be a great investment. He has shown proven chemistry with two Red Wings, and with the recent injury to Valterri Filppula, could compete for a roster spot at least for the start of the season if the Wings choose to pursue him.