Oskar Osala
Image: AHL

Oskar Osala

Hometown:

Vassa Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1987-12-26

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2006

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2006

Height:

6-4

Acquired:

Trade with Washington, 2010

Weight:

220 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D

History

2004-05: Oskar Osala split the season between Vaasa Sport in Mestis (Finland’s second division) and its U-20 squad. He scored one goal with 4 assists and was +4 with 6 PIM in 21 Mestis games and in 21 games with the U-20 squad (including playoffs) he scored 13 goals with 24 assists and 30 PIM. He also played for Finland’s U-18 team in the Five Nations Cup and at the World Junior Championships appearing in all six games with no points and 27 PIM. Osala was selected by the Mississauga IceDogs (OHL) in the first round (16th overall) of the 2005 CHL Import Draft.

2005-06: Osala was expected to be a speedy, two-way player for the Ice Dogs but took a while to adjust to his new settings before picking his game up after the New Year. In 68 regular season games, he scored 17 goals with 26 and 86 PIM and was –19 due to inconsistent defensive play. But it is worth noting that in the month of March, he tallied 12 points in 9 games with a plus/minus of +3. Osala was named to the OHL Second All-Rookie Team and was the IceDogs’ Rookie of the Year. Osala was selected by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round (97th overall) in the 2006 draft.

2006-07: Osala, after once again getting off to a slow start offensively, was much-improved in his second season with Mississauga. In 54 regular season games with the Ice Dogs he scored 22 goals with 22 assists and improved his plus/minus rating to +11. In five playoff games with the Ice Dogs, he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +1. Osala was at his best with Team Finland at the WJC, where he scored 5 goals with 3 assists in six games and was named one Finland’s top three stars.

2007-08: Osala attended the Capitals’ prospect camp before returning to Finland for his first year of pro hockey with Espoo Blues in the SM-Liiga. Osala was Rookie of the Year for Espoo, which was the surprise team of the league, finishing second in the league during the regular season and then advancing to the playoff Finals. Osala scored 18 goals with 17 assists and 62 PIM in 53 regular season games and then tied with Ben Eaves for the team lead with seven goals, while adding 3 assists in 17 playoff games. He played for Team Finland in nine European Hockey Tournament games. The Capitals signed Osala to a three-year, entry level contract in June.

2008-09: Osala was assigned to the Capitals AHL affiliate Hershey following camp and spent most of the season with the Bears. In a pattern similar to his first year in juniors, he got off to a slow start and struggled for games at a time but would get hot at other times and wound up with decent offensive numbers. In 75 regular season games, he scored 25 goals with 17 assists and was +1 with 68 PIM. As he did with Espoo, Osala elevated his game in the playoffs. In 22 games, he scored 6 goals with 4 assists and was +8 as the Bears went on to capture the Calder Cup. Osala also made his NHL debut with the Capitals, playing in one game in December against Boston and another in March versus the Lightning.

2009-10: Osala was once again assigned to Hershey and spent the bulk of the season with the Bears before being traded to the Hurricanes’ organization. In 53 games with Hershey, he scored 15 goals with 14 assists and was even plus/minus with 57 PIM. In an effort to bolster their playoff prospects, the Capitals sent Osala, defenseman Brian Pothier and a second round draft pick in 2011 to Carolina for defenseman Joe Corvo. Played in one game with the Hurricanes but was with Albany in the AHL for the remainder of the season and in the playoffs. He scored 10 goals with three assists in 16 regular season games with the River Rats. In eight playoff games, he scored 2 goals and 1 assist and was +4 as Albany defeated Scranton-Wilkes Barre in the first round before falling to the Bears. Played four games for Team Finland at the World Championships in Germany but did not score and had 2 PIM.

2010-11: Osala was one of the forwards in the mix for a position with the Hurricanes during camp but wound up spending a third season in the AHL playing for Charlotte. The Finnish scorer had 13 goals and a career-high 29 assists despite playing just 59 games and was +1 with 55 PMs. He returned from an "upper body injury" in time for the AHL playoffs and had 3 goals with 2 assists and was -3 with 29 PMs in 15 games. Osala signed a free agent contract with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL in May, 2011.

2011-12: Osala played 41 games for Nizhnekamsk in his first season in Russia's KHL. He scored 12 goals with 7 assists and was minus-three with 44 penalty minutes. Nizhnekamsk finished fifth in the Kharlamov Division; missing the KHL playoffs.

 

Talent Analysis

Osala has a lot of raw offensive ability – he skates well, can shoot and is a big, strong player. Osala has a great shot and has the ability to play an excellent two-way game. Osala scores many of his goals from in close or low in the offensive zone. Consistency, however, has been an issue and he sometimes seems to disappear in the heavier traffic and closer checking nature of North American hockey. Osala could be a better play maker and is lax at times in his defensive responsibilities.

 

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