34-Year-Old Defenseman – Dallas Stars
Johnny Oduya Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Stars in July 2015.
Oduya grabbed an assist, two shots, a hit and a pair of blocked shots in Thursday's loss to the Coyotes.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Having claimed two Stanley Cups in the past three years with Chicago, Oduya arrives in Dallas with a winning pedigree. The 34-year-old is a reliable shutdown defenseman who can log heavy minutes and block lots of shots. If you’re expecting point production, however, it's best you look elsewhere, as Oduya notched just 10 points in 76 games last season and has never eclipsed 30 in his career. On a team that includes premium scoring talents on the top line (Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn) and on the blue line (John Klingberg), Oduya won't be asked to provide much offense, or even chip in on the power play. Instead, they'll leave him to do what he does best: making life difficult for the opposition's top snipers. That's certainly a valuable skill, but one that helps the Stars more than it does fantasy owners.
Oduya comes into the 2014-15 after suffering a broken foot in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final. He said he will be fine by the start of training camp, so we'll take him at his word. With three goals and 13 assists in 77 games, Oduya clearly isn't an offensive defenseman, but he does contribute in blocked shots (114 last season).
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.