Hawks player reviews: Johnny Oduya

June, 18, 2014
Jun 18
Powers By Scott Powers
 Johnny Oduya #27 of the Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesJohnny Oduya may not be with the Hawks beyond next season because of prospects coming up.

Johnny Oduya, Defenseman

2013-14 cap hit: $3,375,000 | Age: 32 | Season stats: 3 goals, 13 assists, plus-11

Season recap: Oduya, along with Niklas Hjalmarsson, helped to once again form one of the league’s top defensive pairings. The duo was often used against opponents' top line. Oduya’s play did fluctuate more than it did during the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup season, however.

Season highlight: Oduya had a goal and assist and was a plus-2 in a 5-4 double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

Season lowlight: Overall, the Kings series wasn’t great for Oduya. He was on the ice for 10 goals against in 5-on-5 situations and was a minus-4 for the series.

Final grade: B.

Inside the numbers: Oduya was on the ice for a team-high 50.2 percent of the Blackhawks’ defensive zone starts in the playoffs, according to extraskater.com. That was up from 41.4 percent in the playoffs in 2013.

Notes: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Oduya suffered an injury in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals and would have been questionable if the Blackhawks advanced.

Quotes: “He defends extremely well, and that’s his forte,” Quenneville of Oduya during the playoffs. “At the same time, I’d like to see him involved in the attack a little more, and maybe having the production to reflect it is a bonus for us. Good play recognition, has good patience with the puck as well. Always had a little offense to his defensive game. We can push that out of him a little more. They get big matchups, big assignments. Defend it first, but sometimes against skill players there are some holes offensively at the other end that maybe you can exploit.”

What’s next: Oduya is signed for another season. He’s expected to be paired with Hjalmarsson again. Oduya won’t likely remain with the Blackhawks beyond next season because of the prospects they have coming up.
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.



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Patrick Kane
36 16 20 11
GoalsP. Kane 16
AssistsP. Kane 20
+/-K. Versteeg 17
GAAC. Crawford 1.87