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OILERS FUTURE WATCH - LIAM REDDOX
By Bob Hersom, OKC BaronsBy Bob Hersom
He’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere.
He is Oklahoma City Barons forward Liam Reddox, and that’s how he plays hockey.
“I try to bring as much energy as I can every night and use my speed to my advantage,” said the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Reddox. “Being a smaller guy, it’s something I’ve always worked on, trying to get faster, and I think it’s helped a lot.”
“Red” has used his quickness, speed and energy to sprint to a fast start in his fifth pro season. Through 23 games he has 12 goals, 20 points and a plus-10 rating. He’s well on his way to breaking his career bests of 18 goals, 44 points and plus-9.
The Whitby, Ontario, native has been a major reason for the Barons’ fast (13-9-1-1) start as well. He leads the team in goals (with Linus Omark), plus-minus rating and short-handed goals, and is second in points.
“He’s a big part of our team. He does everything out there,” said Oklahoma City coach Todd Nelson. “He kills penalties, he’s on power plays, he creates a lot of scoring opportunities with his speed. He’s just a solid, all-around player.”
He also might be the fastest skater in the American Hockey League.
“I don’t know if he’s the fastest, but he’s right up there,” Nelson said. “He’s got that ability, he’s got that extra gear where he can pull away from guys.”
Reddox has spent parts of the past three seasons in the NHL, with the Edmonton Oilers. He has five goals and 14 points in 56 NHL games.
“There are a lot of fast guys in the NHL and there are a lot of fast guys in this league,” Nelson said, “but he’s in the upper echelon of quickness. He can skate, and that’s his biggest asset. He uses that to his advantage, and people can’t keep up with him.”
Before Ryan O’Marra was injured Nov. 21, he had centered the Barons’ most effective line, with Linus Omark on the left and Reddox on the right.
Reddox said being on the same line with O’Marra and Omark was “a good combination of skill and smarts. O’Marra is a really good center in the d-zone. He’d turn the puck up quickly on transition and then me and Omark would go to work.”
When O’Marra was out, Chris VandeVelde centered for Omark and Reddox for three games, then Reddox played centerman Tuesday night, for the first time this season.
Omark said, “Liam is so fast, it’s easy to play with him. We try to give him the puck, with his speed, and then go in for rebounds.”
Reddox, 24, had no goals and just one assist in the first four games this season. Since then, beginning with a four-game goal-scoring streak, he has 12 goals and 20 points in 19 games.
“Liam Reddox, the way he plays day in and day out, he’s going to give his best,” Nelson said. “We know that’s the kind of effort we’re going to get. That’s what he does, and that’s why he’s successful.”
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