NY Islanders: Odelius Decides Where He Will Play Next Year

Canada v Sweden: Group A - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship
Canada v Sweden: Group A - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The NY Islanders' top selection in the 2022 NHL Draft, Calle Odelius, has elected to remain in Sweden for the 2023-24 season, as translated from HockeyNews.se.

Selected with the final pick in the second round last summer, Odelius has been a member of the Djurgårdens organization since 2019, entering his second season playing with the club's senior team. Last year, Odelius tallied 11 points (one goal, ten assists) in 43 games with Djurgårdens, adding a goal and two assists in their push to the HockeyAllsvenskan Finals. With promotion back to the SHL on the line, Djurgårdens and Odelius were shut out by MoDo in a decisive game seven.

While Djurgårdens was loaded with highly regarded, young NHL prospects last season, a few have elected to take their careers in different directions for this upcoming season. Former first-round picks Jonathan Lekkerimäki (Vancouver Canucks) and Liam Öhgren (Minnesota Wild) elected to move on from Djurgardens, having their contracts loaned to the SHL.

Aside from his playing time in Sweden, Odelius has represented his country on the international stage as recently as the World Junior Championship this past holiday season. Odelius was an essential piece of the puzzle in the tournament's preliminary rounds but fell out of favor in the knockout stages, seeing his ice time drop off severely.

Odelius would likely consider his 2022-23 season a bit of a letdown, as he knows he can produce much more offensively.

"I think I'm a good skating two-way defenseman who can set up my teammates for good scoring chances, said Odelius in an interview with Michel Anderson of Deckhands: The Islanders Prospect Channel, shortly after being drafted. "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."

Odelius is still a work in progress, and playing another year in the Swedish second tier is likely a wise decision for the 19-year-old.

There's a possibility Odelius can join the Bridgeport Islanders at the end of the season if Djurgårdens were to see themselves eliminated from promotion contention early on, as the young blueliner has already signed his three-year entry-level contract.