BY RYAN ABER
Linus Omark drew attention from across the hockey world with five goals for the Barons against Toronto on Sunday.
But his linemate might have had the individual play of that game before Omark started his scoring binge.
About nine minutes into the game, Liam Reddox took the puck in Toronto’s zone, flipped it off the boards near the blue line and sped around the defender on the other side, streaking away for a breakaway goal.
“To describe Liam’s game in a word would be speed,” linemate Ryan O’Marra said. “He’s relentless out there and the puck seems to find him everywhere.
“I think he’s just as dangerous on the penalty kill as he is five on five or on the power play.”
In 16 games headed into tonight’s home game against Chicago, Reddox has seven goals, seven assists and is plus-six.
The 24-year-old from Ontario is far form content, though.
“I still feel like there’s room for improvement,” Reddox said. “I want to be a point per (game) guy in this league. I’m not there yet but if I continue to work on my skills and have the same chemistry I’ve had through the first 16 games with Linus and O’Marra, I can accomplish that.”
Reddox is second in the AHL with 70 shots on goal, 14 behind league leader Jerome Samson of Charlotte.
“Day in and day out, he’s going to give his best,” Reddox said. “That’s what he does and that’s why he’s successful.”
At 5-foot-11, Reddox learned quickly that if he was to be an NHL player, speed would be responsible for getting him there.
“With my size, I’m not the biggest guy out there but if they can’t catch you, it doesn’t really matter how big or small you are,” Reddox said.
Reddox played 46 games for Edmonton in 2008-09 but played just nine games for the Oilers last year, spending most of the season in the American Hockey League.
He looked to have a solid shot at making the Oilers out of training camp but was among the last cuts in camp.
Since arriving in Oklahoma City, Reddox has kept himself in prime position for a call-up if a need arrises in Edmonton. Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe mentioned Reddox specifically, among a few other Barons, earlier this week when talking about players who could earn a call-up.
“He seems to have a breakaway every game and that just shouldn’t happen in pro,” O’Marra said. “Just his speed is that impressive. But it’s not just that. He gets to the tough areas. He’s not shy to get to the corners. He initiates contact. He really just does everything right.
“There’s no real deficiency to his game to be completely honest.”