Ontario Hockey League grad Oskar Osala has left North America behind and has signed on to play for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of Russia’s KHL for the 2011-12 season.
Osala played two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Mississauga IceDogs in 2005-06 and 2006-07. In his final season with the IceDogs, Oskar played for Finland at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. His five goals were tops in the tournament.
Oskar was a fourth round pick of the Washington Capitals in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, 97th overall. After a year in Finland’s SM-Liiga in 2007-08, when he was named rookie of the year, Osala found his way onto the Hershey Bears roster. Oskar was a call-up to the Capitals for two games in the 2008-09 season and helped the Bears to a Calder Cup championship in the AHL.
This past season with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, Oskar contributed 42 points in 59 games for his most productive sesaon in the AHL to date. Osala helped the Checkers make it to the Eastern Conference finals before being swept by eventual Calder Cup winner, the Binghamton Senators. Ironically, in the first round of the playoffs, the Checkers took out Oskars old team, the Hershey Bears, in six games.