O'Marra 5th Thunder Alum To Reach NHL
STOCKTON, Calif. - Center Ryan O'Marra (oh-MARE-ah), who skated in 24 games with the Stockton Thunder in 2007-08, made his National Hockey League debut with the Edmonton Oilers tonight against the Ottawa Senators.
Originally selected by the New York Islanders in the first round (15th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, the 22-year old O'Marra has scored four points (2g-2a) in 15 games with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League this season.
He was acquired by the Oilers from New York along with right wing Robert Nilsson and a first round pick in the NHL Entry Draft in exchange for left wing Ryan Smyth on Feb. 27, 2007.
The 6-foot-2, 193-pound forward scored 20 points (11g-9a) in 24 games with the Thunder as a rookie in 2007-08, adding nine points (2g-7a) in just six Kelly Cup Playoff games. He was selected to the National Conference team for the 2008 ECHL All-Star Game in Stockton (did not play due to AHL recall to Springfield). Last season, O'Marra additionally scored 10 points (1g-9a) in 62 games for Springfield, amassing 49 penalty minutes.
O'Marra is the fifth Thunder player to advance and make his NHL debut, joining right wing Troy Bodie (with Anaheim, vs. Pittsburgh on Jan. 16, 2009), center Tim Sestito (with Edmonton, vs. Los Angeles on Nov. 26, 2008), left wing Liam Reddox (with Edmonton, vs. St. Louis on Dec. 7, 2007) and defenseman Bryan Young (with Edmonton, at Anaheim on Mar. 9, 2007).
For the fourth consecutive season, Stockton is serving as the AA minor-league affiliate for the Oilers. The Thunder has advanced to the Kelly Cup Playoffs three consecutive years since the affiliation partnership began in the 2006-07 season. In total, seven Thunder players, including two who have been selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft (O'Marra and goaltender Devan Dubnyk), have been named to play in the ECHL All-Star Game in the last three years while in the Oilers farm system.
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