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Omark leaves Europe for NHL dream

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers
The confidence has always been there for Linus Omark. So when asked if it were a tough decision to leave the money and success he would have had in Europe for a chance at the NHL, he responded with, “Not hard at all.

The Oilers selected the Swede in the 4th round, 97th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft knowing that his skills with the puck were something special. Omark, now 26, spent two seasons with the Oil from 2010-2012 where he recorded 30 points (8-22-30) in 65 games. He became known for his flashy shootout moves and great hands.

But Omark left Edmonton to play overseas, spending the 2012-13 season with Zug in the Swiss Elite League. With Zug, Omark was better than a point-per-game player with 69 points (17-52-69) in 48 games.

While his 52 assists and 69 points were both team highs, Omark was unsatisfied. He believes he belongs in the NHL.

“It’s my dream to play in NHL and I’ll do what it takes to play there someday,” Omark told Bob Stauffer on today’s Oilers Now on 630 CHED.

The Oilers and Omark reached an agreement on a one-year, two-way contract this morning.

“I want to play in NHL and that’s been my dream for all my life. So, I want to try and make the team this year.

“Personally, I haven’t talked with (the Oilers). My agent maybe talked with them once a month. Those three, couple last weeks, they’ve been talking a lot I think.”

Omark understands that he may have to earn his way in the American Hockey League down in Oklahoma City before playing in the NHL. But he’s prepared to do so to reach his ultimate goal.

“Yes. What I said before, I want to take this and I’m going to work my ass off if I going down there and do my best and wait until I get the chance. I am looking forward to get to camp and then after camp we see where I am…”

In Europe, Omark had a chance to hone his skills with some very good players, during the lockout. He feels that time helped him improve.

“Yeah, I hope so. I had a good year but I wanted to play a lot. The last year I was there in North America, I broke my foot. So, I needed to play a lot and I did that. I played with two tremendous players, Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner. I learned a lot from Henrik too. So, hopefully I’m better.”

Stauffer asked Omark if watching those players succeed this past season, particularly Brunner in Detroit, made him think he could duplicate that.

“Of course I watched (Brunner) and I know he’s a really good player. He will for sure, do a better a year this year. But of course, you want to try too and if he can do it, I have a chance to do it. If I get a chance… It’s worth the risk for the chance.”

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