Eric O’Dell’s hockey journey begins as he was playing Junior ‘A’ hockey in Cumberland, Ontario, having committed to playing at St. Cloud State University starting in the fall of 2009. It was during that 2007-08 season when his OHL rights were traded from the Oshawa Generals to the Sudbury Wolves. O’Dell determined that he had a much better chance with the Wolves and made the jump that January.
O’Dell only played 26 games in the second half of that season, but was still able to lead all rookies on the Wolves in scoring, and sat 15th among all OHL rookies with 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists). The Ottawa-born forward went on to play three additional seasons with Sudbury, notching 207 points (100 goals, 107 assists) in his 198 game junior career.
It was that stellar rookie half-season that caught the eye of NHL scouts. O’Dell was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round (#39 overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Before he ever had a taste of NHL hockey, O’Dell was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Erik Christensen in a deadline deal on March 4, 2009.
Immediately following the 2009-10 season, O’Dell had a major health scare. Suffering from heart palpitations, it was discovered that O’Dell had hole in his heart that went undiagnosed since birth. Surgery was needed to repair the defect, and O’Dell was out of hockey for six months.
O’Dell returned to the Sudbury Wolves at Christmas of that season, playing 39 games last season. He now is finishing up his first professional season playing with the St. John’s IceCaps.
Eric O’Dell is known for his outstanding hockey sense, incredible on-ice vision, and his great shot. As he continues to develop and grow, O’Dell will have a bright future in the Winnipeg Jets system.