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02-27-2007, 09:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Scotland
He's not going to find himself on a PP in the NHL, but he's a poster child for a crashing 3rd liner that exudes all the intangibles coachs drool over. Blocks shoots, hits, bangs etc. He's an every situation player at the junior level, but I'd be surprised if a top 6 forward role or regular 20 goal seasons were part of his future.
Don't take that as a knock on him either. His hands aren't bad (not great), he's a pretty good skater (though not yet at the NHL level) really good strength on his skates, smart, mature two-way game by junior standards. Mixed with being heralded as having a great work ethic and attitude he's about as safe as a return as they come. The beauty of junior hockey for a guy like that is he had the chance to really develop his offensive game even though he's destined to be a two-way player known more for playing a checking role (as he has representing team Canada in the past).
Comparibles: playing today...hard to say because he's similar to a lot of third line guys but there's something about him that probably makes the Oilers think they have a guy with Ethan Moreau's heart and little more talent and strength on his skates to make things happen. He's a potential everyday/average third line checker or could be everybit as important as a John Madden or a more skilled Ethan Moreau was to the Oilers. I'm not dismissing his offensive accomplishments, he could pot 20 plus in a good year someday but he's not a future first line player buy any stretch.
The fact that he's been singled out as one of the best of his age group for playing the physical, character, checking type role by his invitations and selections to HockeyCanada (goes back a number of years I believe - u-18's etc) is a darn good sign if you aks me, and he's gotten that nod while being the major offensive contributer on his respective teams at the same time.
He's the safer but lower ceiling part of the Smyth return. He'll wear an Oilers jersey sometime in the not so distant future.
I should also add that I think his presence has done absolute wonders for the Saginaw Spirit since coming over from Erie. They entered the year as one of the most talented groups but after an off-ice incident early in the year involving a group of players and a teenage girl, along with a slew of injuries that team had a lot adversity and seemed directionless until lately and I think O'Marra's play has had as much if not more to do with that team getting it together than anyone else.
Last edited by CapGoodie: 02-27-2007 at
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