New York Islanders Failures at the Draft Table
Drafted (Year/Position): 2005, 15
Career Stats: GP:33/G:1/A:6
Draft Class: Martin Hanzal (17), T.J. Oshie (24), Andrew Cogliano (25)
Ryan O’Marra was the first Japanese-born player to be drafted in the NHL. That was where the interest in O’Marra’s NHL career ends. And don’t think that O’Marra is actually Japanese, he was just born in Japan. His parents were Canadian, and O’Marra moved to Canada when he was a year old.
O’Marra had a successful juniors career with the Eerie Otters before being drafted by the New York Islanders at 15 in 2005. In 127 games for the Otters, O’Marra had 95 points. After being drafted he returned to the Otters where he played a further 63 games and scored 77 points.
O’Marra was seemingly getting better year-after-year. But O’Marra just couldn’t crack the Islanders roster. For the next three years after the draft, O’Marra flipped between the OHL, AHL, and the ECHL before being sent to the Edmonton Oilers in a trade for Ryan Smyth.
The Islanders tried to get some worth out of O’Marra and a few other picks when they acquired Ryan Smyth. But Smyth didn’t stay longer than the remainder of the season. O’Marra would go on to stay in the Oilers system for five years, playing 31 games for the NHL club over that time.
O’Marra wouldn’t stay in the NHL much longer after his stint with the Oilers. He would suit up for the Anaheim Ducks in the 2011-12 season for two games before moving across the pond and closing out his career in Europe.
Next: No.2 Dave Chyzowski