The Long Road to Edmonton: Ryan O'Marra Recalled

Antony TaContributor INovember 10, 2009

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 19:  Ryan O'Marra #22 of Team Davidson looks to make a play against Team Cherry during the Top Prospects game at the Pacific Coloseum on January 19, 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada  (Photo by Chris Relke/Getty Images)
Chris Relke/Getty Images

It's been a while since Ryan O'Marra was one of the key pieces of the Ryan Smyth trade puzzle.

Now he's the forgotten jigsaw.

It took an injury to the other key piece of the same trade, Kenta's kid Robert, to finally usher him to the stage in Edmonton. The Oilers playing in Ottawa and Springfield's close proximity to there didn't hurt.

With Ryan Stone and Gilbert Brule already on the roster and with Liam Reddox and Ryan Potulny already recalled, the Oilers felt compelled to finally call up a right-handed center who could win draws. I'm sure Colin MacDonald was a close bet but O'Marra finally got his audition.

O'Marra is a player in the same vein as Jarret Stoll but with much less offensive upside, according to some.

The Oilers have been trying to groom him as a checking-line center and this has rubbed him wrong, since he has historically played an offensive leadership role on other OHL and AHL teams. O'Marra was unhappy for a while, but at least he didn't pull a Rob Schremp and wet his eyes on national television.

There were rumours that Schremp, Reddox, and O'Marra were all considering playing in Europe this past off season.

I'm sure they're happy they never went that route now.

O'Marra, a former World Junior star and offensive star, could prove the Oilers wrong and be more than just a checking-line center. This could bode well for the pending RFA.

But before that happens, he has to show that he's more defensively reliable than the jigsaw he's replacing, the concussed Robert Nilsson.

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