Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | February 28, 2012

Man of the Day 2/27: Johnny Oduya

Johnny Oduya

Born October 1, 1981 (age 30) in Stockholm, Sweden

Defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks

Today and tomorrow, I’ll be profiling who’s in and who’s out with the Blackhawks. First up, our newest member to wear the Indian Head jersey (I do hate to include him in a Jets jersey, but he won’t be playing with the Hawks till Wednesday). Johnny played his junior years with Hammerby IF in Sweden before heading to Canada to play a season in the QMJHL with the Victoriaville Tigres and the Moncton Wildcats. After his stint there, he went back to Sweden, playing again for Hammerby and then Djurgårdens IF in the Elitserien and becoming known as a very good and very aggressive player. When his two seasons were up there, the Washington Capitals – they’d picked him in the 2001 draft – dropped him, so in the 2005-06 season he went to Frolunda to play and did very well offensively with eight goals and 11 assists.

Johnny as a Devil (but we know he's a good guy).

After his time in Sweden, he signed with the New Jersey Devils and was expected to be promptly sent to the minors, but with other d-men out, he got his spot on the roster. He did very well with the Devils, and in all but his last season with them they made the playoffs. In February 2010, he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers with Niclas Bergfors and Patrice Cormier for Ilya Kovalchuk and Anssi Salmela, although his first full season with them was…well, you know. After the Thrashers were taken, he seemed to be doing well in That Place in terms of blocked shots (98, ranking him second on the team), but he wasn’t producing even though he was on the ice for an average of 20 minutes a game. The Blackhawks saw potential in him, though, and traded two picks in the 2013 draft for him.

Welcome, Johnny O! We hope your stay, however long it is, is a great one!

Here's a pic of Johnny at the Thrashers' penultimate game ever. I hated those third jerseys. (photo credit to Emma)

– Krista

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