Just like in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the NY Islanders' first selection in 2022 was a highly ranked player who ultimately fell into their laps. Calle Odelius, who the Isles selected with the last pick in the second round (65 overall), had a first-round ranking by many outlets, including as high as 18 overall by Elite Prospects.
Odelius is a steady two-way, puck-moving defenseman. He isn’t the type of defenseman who is going to wow you with brilliant flashy plays, but instead, he is a fundamentally sound blue liner.
Odelius is an excellent skater whose game seems to excel in between the blue lines. He closes gaps quickly, usually causing the forward to dump the puck, then begins his puck retrieval. Once he has the puck, he is capable of starting the breakout on his own but doesn’t force it. If he sees a teammate in a better position, he tends to defer to the open man.
In an interview with Michel Anderson of Deckhands: The Islanders Prospect Channel, Odelius said of his own game:
"I think I'm a good skating two-way defenseman who can set up my teammates for good scoring chances. So I think I'm a good passing and skating two-way defenseman. I look a lot on Devon Toews, I know who was in Islanders a few years ago, and Shea Theodore. So that's two guys I really like to look at and take some tips from them."- Calle Odelius
Odelius has been praised for his vision along with his skating. Elite Prospects has gone as far as to compare him to a veteran NFL quarterback who goes through his progressions in the pocket as he scans the surface for options further up the ice.
Last season, Odelius split time with Djurgårdens U20 team and the SHL. He showed success playing within his age group accruing 30 points (seven goals, 23 assists) in 43 games. Playing with grown men in the SHL, he understandably didn't have the same success production-wise, failing to register a point in his seven appearances.
Djurgårdens was relegated from the SHL last season and will compete in the HockeyAllsvenskan in 2022-23, the second tier of Swedish hockey. He will be teamed up with fellow 2022 draft picks Jonathan Lekkerimäki (Vancouver Canucks), Noah Östlund (Buffalo Sabres), and Liam Öhgren (Minnesota Wild).
Less than two weeks after being drafted, the Islanders signed Odelius to an entry-level, three-year, $950k AAV contract as per CapFriendly. However, the Nykvarn, Sweden native will not attend the Islanders development camp. He will instead be preparing for Djurgårdens season, which begins on September 23.