Playing for Djurgardens in Sweden, Odelius shoots left and is listed at about 6’, 188 lbs. He was the 16th-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting. He spent most of last season with the club’s U-20 team, where he put up 7-23-30 in 42 games. He did get a few games on the “playing with men” squad and was on Sweden’s U-18 team that won the gold medal.
He sounds like a very good skater with some mid-lineup potential. Here’s what draft hounds have said about him leading up to the draft:
Jeff Svoboda, Jackets Insider:
Djurgardens was relegated from the SHL this year, but it wasn’t for a lack of youth talent as this list has proven. Odelius is an impressive part of that group, as he is one of the best skaters in the draft and brings a lot of intelligence to the blue line. Time will tell just how high his ceiling is, but Odelius might be one of the safest picks in the draft.
The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler had him ranked 50th among all 2022 draft-eligible prospects:
Odelius is a steadying, calculating two-way defenceman who plays a head-on-a-swivel game built upon snuffing plays out defensively and advancing play back the other direction. He’s not a dynamic on-puck carrier or creator in the offensive zone, but he’s prolific at moving the puck from A to B either with precision first passes or comfortable north-south carrying. He’s also got a strong, strong athletic foundation and a balanced skating posture (he’s one of the better backwards skaters in the draft for me) that allows him to manage the rush, quickly move from accepting a pass into sending one while on the heels of his skates, and leverage his strong frame to its fullest in engagements. He doesn’t project as a top-end player but his game’s impressive control and efficiency could well make him an everyday NHL defenceman.
His retrievals start with a shoulder check for incoming threats and options. Then Odelius layers deception on the first touch before exploding out of his retrieval and into space. He’ll bait another forechecker into the zone if only to create more of a numbers advantage up ice, and with his skating and handling skills, it almost always works.
Corey Pronman, the Athletic:
“Odelius’ skating pops out to you when you watch him. He has a powerful, fluid stride that can explode up the ice and the strong edge work to escape pressure. I wouldn’t call his puck play as exceptional as his feet, but he shows good instances of puck skill and can make plays in the O-zone to create chances.
“He’s talented, and the skating excites scouts, but as a 5-foot-11 defenseman who is average defensively and isn’t dynamic offensively, I’m not sure where he fits on an NHL team.”
Puck-moving defender with good hands and escapability. Shows intelligence in all three zones and could grow into a 4-6 defender at the NHL level.
A smooth-skating two-way defenseman, Odelius put up strong numbers in Sweden’s U20 league and got limited action in the top pro level. The tools are there for Odelius to be a higher-end defenseman in this class, but I have some concerns about his overall offensive upside and hockey sense. His reads and anticipation only looked OK to me in live viewings this year, but I think there’s a foundation of skills that show NHL upside.
As always...we’ll see! Much to monitor and debate over the next two to four years.