|9||1990/06/20||24||#39, 2008 (ANA)
Previous Rank: 9th
Eric O`Dell could be one of the more underrated prospects in the Winnipeg Jets system.
O`Dell recorded over a point per game thoughout his OHL career. This is despite playing with a heart condition that limited his cardiovascular abilities and having to recover from corrective heart surgery.
In just over one season of AHL play O`Dell grew into a bonafide first-line centre. In his third pro season, Eric scored at a point per game pace in the AHL and earned a thirty game NHL call up.
While O`Dell was given sheltered minutes in his NHL debut, he performed as well as you'd wish given the circumstances. Both his points per minute and his shot metrics (like Corsi) were above average relative to his deployment.
This year O`Dell will be given full opportunity to prove whether or not he is a legitimate, full time NHL player. Whether or not he makes the team as a depth player, 4th line player, or top 9 player still remains to be seen.
AIH Authors' Thoughts:
Eric should make the full time transition to NHL hockey this year. He is waiver eligible and there is little chance that the Jets could ship him down to the minors at this point. It is time to show and prove. O'Dell's solid two way play and offensive potential do create some hope, but it is yet to be seen just how much he can contribute at the NHL level. If he can latch on as a full time NHLer it will be a big help to the Jets as they strive to increase system depth.
O’Dell doesn’t get nearly enough credit from Jets fans, and I’m not quite sure why. He’s an excellent scorer at the AHL level and has produced more than adequately with the Jets in a bottom-6 that sorely needs some talent. If draft & development is truly what the Jets are trying to do, a guy like O’Dell is the exact type of player that should be given a real shot in the top-9. He's the type of player who could slide into the top-6 in a pinch if needed, not plugs like Wright or Thorburn...
I like O`Dell. He's a swell guy. Some would say that O`Dell is swell.
He's done everything that you'd hope for at every level he's played and every opportunity he's been given thus far. He's passed every test and hurdle placed in front of him and has battled the hard way. I hope he makes it. A line like Galiardi-O`Dell-Tangradi would be miles improvement over many of the bottom six configurations the Jets have thrown on the ice.
O'Dell's greatest strengths are his hockey sense and hands. In addition to reading plays pretty well, he has a pro shot and is a good passer. After posting two point-per-game seasons in the AHL and scoring 7 points in 30 NHL games last season, this could be the year that Eric O'Dell makes the transition to full-time NHLer. I expect that he'll make the jump, as the Jets are still short on offensive talent and he has very little to prove at the AHL level.
Best case scenario, O'Dell will stick in the Jets' top 9 and chip in offensively, although I expect he might need a strong linemate to help him along early in his NHL career. Worst case scenario, O'Dell has to compete with the Jets' bevy of replacement-level forwards for fourth line minutes, and playing with the likes of Thorburn, Peluso, Slater, Halischuk and Tangradi, he probably won't accomplish much in those minutes.
Rowan:Ehhhhhhh (Garret's note: I'm not sure what Rowan means...)
2013 Top 25 Under 25 - Eric O`Dell
Pilot's Logbook - Eric O`Dell