33-Year-Old Defenseman – Chicago Blackhawks
Johnny Oduya Contract Information:
The Blackhawks signed Oduya to a three-year, $10.125 million contract in May of 2012.
Oduya scored his first goal of the season on Saturday, opening the scoring against Nashville in an eventual 2-1 overtime win.
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Johnny Oduya: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Oduya will never be mistaken for an offensive defender. But he does have value in leagues that count blocked shots. Still, his value is far greater on the ice than in the fantasy arena.
The acquisition of Oduya late in the 2011-12 helped light a fire under the Blackhawks. And the squad liked him so much that they extended him with a three-year contract extension before the start of free agency. Oduya will not give you big points -- think 15-20 -- but he is a quality shot blocker and could deliver 150 in his first full season with the Hawks.
Oduya recorded two goals and 15 assists to go with a minus-15 rating for the Thrashers' organization last season. He is a veteran defenseman who can move the puck. However, his fantasy value is limited, especially considering he has Tobais Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien ahead of him on the Jets depth chart. As a result, Oduya is better left undrafted fantasy wise.
With no proven, top-flight goal scorer in the lineup, the Thrashers will look to be a very defensive minded team for the 2010-11 season, and Oduya is going to have to be at the forefront of that transition. This means that he may be asked to play more of a New Jersey style of hockey, and could have even less of an offensive impact than last season. Although Oduya was projected to possibly have an impact on the offensive end in the NHL, injuries have slowed him down and he has not been able to solidify himself as a scorer for any extended period of time. Oduya has excellent puck-moving ability, but seeing as he is behind Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, and Ron Hainsey on the depth chart, he will continue to have very little fantasy impact for the upcoming season. He should really only be on your radar if you are in an incredibly deep league or as an injury replacement during the season.
Entering his fourth season, Oduya is quietly establishing himself as one of the league’s stronger two-way blueliners. An outstanding skater capable of making great outlet passes, Oduya is always around the puck. He posted a career-high 29 points, hardly earth shattering numbers, but did sport an impressive plus-21 rating. Having completely adapted to the North American game after honing his skills in Sweden, Oduya should crack the 30-point barrier. He’s reliable as well, playing in all 82 games last season and missing just 11 over his first two seasons.
Oduya took another step in his development last season with six goals and 26 points while being a team-leader in plus-minus. He's an excellent skater and produced a few highlight reel goals. He's worth a late-round look in deep leagues and has a shot at putting up 30 points.
Likely to be one of the seven or eight defensemen out of camp, Oduya has a heavy shot and isn't afraid to drop the gloves. It remains to be seen whether he will receive regular playing time.