2021-22 Team: Djurgårdens IF (J20 Nationell)
Date of Birth: May 30, 2004
Place of Birth: Södertälje, SWE
Ht: 6-feet Wt: 185 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 13th (among EU Skaters)
- FC Hockey: 31st
- Elite Prospects March Top 32: 22nd
- Peter Baracchini’s March Rankings: 29th
- Andrew Forbes’ March Rankings: 36th
- Matthew Zator’s February Rankings: 35th
- SMAHT Scouting: 10th
- Bob McKenzie’s Mid-Season Rankings: 38th
- Dobber Prospects Mid-Season Rankings: 44th
If there is one defenseman in this draft that I’m really high on and isn’t getting much attention, it’s Djurgårdens IF J20 defender Calle Odelius.
On a team that features other notable draft eligible players to come through the ranks like Jonathan Lekkerimäki and Liam Öhgren, Odelius is another 17-year-old to dominate the J20 circuit. He’s producing extremely well offensively as he’s currently eighth in team scoring. Among defenders in their draft year, he’s 14th in primary points per game with 0.48 and has a strong 1.44 P1/e60 (total primary points per estimated 60 minutes).
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Odelius is everything that you would want in a modern two-way, puck-moving defenseman as he displays excellent composure and situational awareness. His smarts allow him to think the game quickly and effectively, but it’s his skating that is always on display. He has great movement in all directions and he’s very deceptive with his motions and movements. He never rushes an opportunity and uses his skating and edges to get out of tough situations. Just like this clip where he’s able to turn on a dime and evade his opponent.
Odelius gains control of the puck and as he’s moving the play down low along the boards, he immediately drags an opponent. His skating allows him to evade any sort of pressure quickly using his edgework. He then quickly finds the middle of the ice to carry the puck and quickly get a shot off through traffic, eventually getting deflected in for a goal.
Which brings us to his next strength, his play making and passing. Odelius possesses very strong play making abilities, especially when he’s in transition as he’s extremely confident in that department. He’s at his best when making strong breakout passes to stretch the game while also making strong tape to tape plays in close proximity with his teammates.
Odelius always able to find the open spaces on the ice and open things up for his teammates while placing the puck in a great spot for them to receive it. He’s extremely calm when he has the puck, as he has excellent control and patience with the puck in order to find the right opportunities to make a play. He can make those short passes in the offensive zone while also utilizing his strong point shot for second chance opportunities or even a shot on goal. He has great accuracy and strength as he’s able to get the puck on target even with a lot of traffic in front of the net.
Defensively, Odelius does a great job in taking away the passing lane and closing in on the opposition to keep them to the outside. While he has good coverage in front of the net, he could look to utilize his strength a little more, but the positioning and instincts are already there. The awareness is there to know when to pick his spots to jump in and when to back off to get back into position to prioritize defense and negate a zone entry. He does a great job at providing support along the boards to try and regain control of the puck and even on the eventual breakout where he thrives.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Calle Odelius- NHL Draft Projection
The picture for Odelius is pretty clear when it comes to his projection. Majority of the rankings have him as either an early or mid-second round selection come draft day. However, there are some that think with the qualities that he possesses, it could very well get him into the first round as a late round selection. He’s definitely made his case to be considered in that range, as he hopes to hear his name called on the first day of the draft.
“Odelius also has good puck skills which help him to elude forecheckers before moving the puck up ice. However, he doesn’t possess the best skating speed and mostly relies on passing in transition, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He constantly executes high-IQ plays and is solid without the puck as well. Even though he might lose his mark in the defensive zone from time to time, he defends the rush well, closing the gap nicely.”– Eetu Siltanen, Dobber Prospects
“I’m not sure that there’s a more fluid four way skater in the entire draft this year. His lateral mobility is excellent to close gaps and manage space, his skill and deception is excellent, and when patrolling the offensive zone on his edges using turns, footwork and deception, he’s a lovely defender to watch. Nothing in his data really stands out spectacularly, but the potential of his game is huge.”– Will Scouch McKeen’s Hockey
“He has taken steps in every aspect of the game and matures more and more in his decision making. His hands and vision, combined with high hockey intelligence, make him a really interesting player for the first round.”– Fredrik Haak, FC Hockey
- Skating and mobility
- Strong first and breakout passes
- High IQ
- Puck Control
Under Construction- Improvements to Make
- Defensive positioning at times
- Utilize strength
Odelius has the potential to have a promising future as a defender that can fit in nicely on any team’s second pairing. His ability to be strong in transition– with his speed and passing– is what teams look for nowadays. While he will thrive at even-strength, he serves as a perfect option on the power play or even make strong clearing attempts on the penalty kill. He has that perfect balance as a defender, where he’s smart on both sides of the puck and in any situation.
Risk- Reward Analysis
Risk- 2/5, Reward 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense- 7/10, Defense 7/10
Odelius was selected 114th overall by the Kitchener Rangers in the 2021 CHL Import Draft. He also won bronze for Team Sweden at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Calle Odelius Statistics
Statistics from Pick224.
Peter is in his third year with The Hockey Writers, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and heading the Draft and Prospects section. He has previously interned at The Hockey News and worked on Toronto Marlies broadcasts for Rogers TV. He currently is the co-host of the podcast Sticks in the 6ix and a frequent guest on Maple Leafs Lounge. Aside from hockey, he also enjoys drumming, animation and impressions/ voices.