ISS ranks O’Marra and Blunden top-10 prospects

September 27, 2004 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Erie Otters News Release

International Scouting Service has listed Erie Otters forwards Ryan O’Marra and Mike Blunden as top-10 prospects for the 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

O’Marra was listed fifth while Blunden was ranked 9th in a preliminary list released by ISS and published on www.hockeysfuture.com.

“We love this kid and expect him to have a breakout year,” ISS said about O’Marra. “He has natural goal-scoring instincts and may possess the best shot in the draft . . . O’Marra uses his size and reach effectively. He plays an aggressive and physical game, works effectively in the corners, finishes his checks, has good puck control at full speed, drives the net for rebounds and demonstrates good hands in close. O’Marra has the potential to be a team leader, and is overall a very talented player.”

“Mike Blunden has imposing size and a physical dimension scouts look for,” said ISS. “He has excellent strength and reach and is very hard to knock off of the puck. Blunden possesses good speed and hands for a player with his size, and he likes to create offense off the rush. Blunden uses his size very effectively, especially on the power play . . . He plays with plenty of grit along the boards, drives to the net with authority, and projects to be a NHL power forward. Blunden’s size allows him the opportunity to gain space while continuing to lean on opposing players.”

Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League was rated first overall by ISS. Gilbert Brule of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League and Jakob Kindl of the Kitchener Rangers round out the top-three.

International Scouting Services (www.internationalscouting.com) is an international enterprise, in the business of scouting, evaluating, analyzing and ranking young 16, 17 and 18 year old hockey players wherever hockey is played. ISS uses an exciting combination of traditional scouting methods along with the most advanced technology to arrive at quality and efficient results on these players.

The Otters return to action in their 2004-2005 Home Opener this Saturday (October 2nd) when the Kitchener Rangers pay a visit to the Tullio Arena for a 7:30 p.m. start. Skeeter’s Clubhouse and Grill invites fans to kick-off the season during the Otters Home Opener Pre-Game Party from 5-7 p.m. in the picnic area at Jerry Uht Park. Hammered will provide the entertainment during the free event with clowns and face painters for the kids and much more. Food and beverages will be available. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Caring Place. Tickets for the game, as well as the other 33 Otters home games, are on sale now at the Erie Civic Center Box Office as well as all Erie-area TicketMaster locations.

2004-2005 Erie Otters Season Tickets are on sale now. Enjoy 34 regular season home games in your reserved season seats and witness fast-paced, hard-hitting action of the future stars of the National Hockey League at significant savings over regular individual game prices. Season Ticket Holders never waste their unused tickets, which are redeemable for any non-Saturday game (excluding the Otters’ annual Thanksgiving Game and all March home games) throughout the season. In addition Season Ticket Holders receive numerous other Season Ticket Holder Benefits. Call the Otters’ Office (814-455-7779) for more details.

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