Photo Credit: Otto Marand / Djurgården
Scouting Report written by Josh Tessler
Calle Odelius is a 2022 NHL Draft eligible, who hails from Södertälje, Sweden and plays for Djurgården.
Odelius isn’t the only one in his family playing competitive hockey. His brother, William Odelius is playing in the Brynäs system. He moved over to Brynäs after spending his youth with Södertälje. William Odelius is a 2024 NHL Draft eligible prospect.
In his youth, he played for the local club, Södertälje SK and he played alongside his Djurgården teammates, Jonathan Lekkerimäki and Noah Östlund.
This past season, Odelius spent the majority of the time at the J20 level for Djurgården and was the highest scoring defenseman for the J20 club with 30 points in 43 games. In addition to his J20 play, he had a few short stints at the SHL level and represented Sweden internationally. Odelius was part of the Swedish championship team at the U18s in Germany.
D.O.B – May 30, 2004
Nationality – Sweden
Draft Eligibility – 2022
Weight –185 lbs
Position – Defense
Handedness – Left
Odelius’ Style Of Play
Calle Odelius handles pressure very nicely. He has excellent offensive escapability. When pinching up and facing pressure, he has good reach with the puck to extend the puck far enough away from the attacker that is applying vest-to-vest pressure. Check out this clip (the second tweet) of Odelius navigating around pressure with ease. Notice closely that the exact moment that the attacker skates in, Odelius takes off. Secures the puck and plays it along the boards. When the attacker extends his stick to go after the puck, that’s when Odelius is able to dance right by him.
Like his teammate Liam Öhgren, Odelius can be extremely manipulative with the puck on his stick. When securing the puck off of a pass along the blue-line and backing himself up towards the half-wall, he does a good job of implementing a few little subtle cradles to keep the attackers on their toes. After a few cradles from side to side, he will fake a shot, which mystifies the attacker and then Odelius skates out from the pressure.
But, there are situations in which he simply feels like he can’t evade the pressure by pivoting out and puck manipulation won’t bail him out either. In those situations, he is quick with his decision making and quickly gets the puck out of his hands. He completes a quick pass to keep the cycle alive. It’s not always an average tape to tape pass. If he can’t net the slightest amount of separation to complete a pass, he will look to fire a saucer over the attacker’s stick.
What I really like about Odelius is his vision. He is very good at identifying passes that are coming towards him but are still too far out in front of him. He reads the trajectory of the pass and then skates into the pass. Not only does he skate into the pass, but it also means that he already activated his skates and he’s now collecting the puck on the move versus at a stand still position. At a stand still position, attackers can close in on him, so by skating into the pass it allows him to have the upper hand speed wise on potential pressure.
From a positional stand point, when there are tight puck battles down low behind the offensive zone red line, Odelius moves to the face-off circle on the border of medium danger to offer a passing option. He also displays good positioning along the blue line as he is constantly on his feet and keeping an eye on where the puck is incase he needs to begin to drop back into the neutral zone.
When it comes to his shot, he has had solid success with his shot in J20 play. All of his goals this season at 5v5 came from at least medium danger. He has scored on the move with wrist and snap shots. Odelius has good weight transfer on his shot and he can get quality power by pushing his weight towards his knee. When Odelius has open ice and a teammate gets a quality feed to him, he can be rather dangerous. Take a look at this goal (the second tweet/clip) against Mora from February. Skates into the zone, establishes open ice from the get go, collects a quality pass from Liam Öhgren and quickly shoots a bar down goal.
While he does have an excellent shot, he does need to be a bit more cautious with his shot selection at times. There have been quite a few shifts in which he faces pressure while at the point and he still tries to force a shot through the lane when there is no chance of the shot making it through.
Odelius is quite strong defensively and will look to implement quality pressure even in low danger areas. There have been numerous shifts in which Odelius looks to skate in towards the opponent’s stick shift to knock them off the puck by pushing into the stick shaft. He will also use shoulder checks and hip checks to create puck disruption.
When looking to toke away space and trap puck moving attackers in low danger and medium danger, Odelius will extend his stick blade out towards the puck. Odelius will use active stick to try to take away passing lanes when attackers are in low danger behind the red line, but the deployment needs to be slightly quicker. He has been burned by being slightly too slow with his active stick and attackers manage to wire a pass to the slot. I do like his active stick, but he just needs to be faster with it to truly counter oppositional puck movement.
In the offensive section, I talked about Odelius’ vision and has ability to skate into passes intended for him but going slightly wide. In the defensive zone, he scans the ice surface well and can identify oppositional passing that he can skate into to intercept. He has had quite a bit of success skating into passes, claiming possession for the puck and then activates in order to bring the puck up the ice.
When going for a loose puck and an attacker is skating in unison, Odelius does a good job of getting on the inside of the loose puck battle. By getting on the inside, he has a far better chance of picking up the loose puck and when he does he will usually fire a quick pass to a teammate to avoid being trapped by the attacker.
In situations in which he doesn’t have possession of the puck, but his teammate does behind the net and an attacker is skating towards that teammate, Odelius will leverage his quality crossovers to skate backwards towards the corner. By doing so, Odelius then offers an open passing lane for the teammate who is facing pressure at the net.
When he has the puck and doesn’t have a tremendous amount of pressure in front of him, he will look to wire stretch passes from the defensive zone to his forwards along the offensive zone blue line. Odelius consistently does a good job at identifying open teammates going east – west in the neutral zone and completing outlet feeds to them as zone exit passes. While a lot of his zone exit feeds and outlet passes tend to be stretch passes and tape to tape feeds, he will look to be deceptive with no-look behind the back passes.
In situations in which he does have quality pressure in front of him, he looks to leverage his deception and manipulate attackers with his stick-handling to open up skating or passing lanes to exploit. When holds onto the puck behind his net, saw he had an attacker that was targeting him, he will shift to the puck to one side to force the attacker to go to that side. Immediately after doing so, he will then fire a pass behind him to get the puck completely away from danger and hopefully in the hands of an open teammate. In addition to raw puck movement and manipulating the attacker by drawing the puck to one side, Odelius will also use body language to manipulate attackers into thinking that Odelius is going in a direction, but Odelius then pivots out of it and has plenty of open ice. He will extend his knees out to one side and make the attacker believe that Odelius is committing to that side. Odelius will also utilize changes in pace and strategic movements to open up ice for himself. For instance, in the below clip, you will notice when Odelius is trying to shake off pressure after collecting a loose puck along the half-wall boards and an attacker starts to move near him, he slows down and then he strategically skates past the red line further out from the goaltender to draw the attacker in behind the red line. After pulling the attacker in, he pivots out from danger.
But, it’s not just his deceptive style that he will leverage when looking to get the puck out of his hands and into the hands of a teammate. It’s all about quickness. I’ve seen Odelius observe an attacker coming right at him when he skating past the corner and completes a pass along the boards to a teammate further up the half-wall right before the attacker makes contact with Odelius. Odelius doesn’t take his time. He is quick.
Odelius is quite strong defensively in the neutral zone and most of his success has to do with positioning. For instance, he will position himself in front of an opposing forward in the neutral zone and scans the ice to identify the opposing defender who has possession of the puck. When the defender attempts a stretch pass, Odelius uses his excellent scanning ability to track the trajectory of the puck to ensure that he is in position to net possession.
In sequences where his defensive partner pinched up and is out of position and the opposition is driving the puck out of the zone, Odelius will drop back into the neutral zone. He looks to position himself in more of a centered role to be in the best spot to defend against a 2-on-1.
Odelius does a good job of using his vision to scan puck movement and he reacts to quick adjustments made the opposition quite well. He also quickly identifies what he needs to do to himself in order to get into position to shut down the attack. If he is in a more centered position to start and the rush will be coming down the boards, he does a good job of assessing how much speed he needs to get in position in time. In situations in which the puck carrier deviate from the initial route, Odelius implements the necessary lateral crossovers to stay aligned.
Similar to his defensive play in his own zone, Odelius implements quality stick-handling reach when defending in the neutral zone to take up space. He will use an active stick in the neutral zone when defending the rush and will look to motion his stick blade to one side to get the attacker to move the puck in the other direction. By doing so, he can predict the attacker’s movements and that allows him to strip possession of the puck.
When his defensive partner has control of the puck, he stays aligned to his partner and ensures that he will remain parallel to the attacker as the attacker looks to move the puck into the offensive zone. His positioning provides his defensive partner with a lateral passing lane to use should the partner end up facing tight pressure.
If Odelius gains control of the puck off of a pass in the neutral zone, he usually looks to quickly get the puck out of his hands and into the hands of a teammate who is further along in the neutral zone. So, you will see Odelius complete a lot of one touch passes. He doesn’t want to dilly dally / waste time.
When he has plenty of open ice and is flying from the defensive zone to the offensive zone, he does a good job blending his crossovers with lengthy stride extensions to ensure that he has the necessary speed to get into the offensive zone and avoid pressure / potential puck disruption.
Like Djugården teammates and fellow draft eligible prospects, Noah Östlund, Liam Öhgren and Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Odelius has an excellent stride. It is lengthy and he can use it to acquire top speed especially in situations where he is slightly out of position. His posture and ankle flexion is in the prime spot to garner maximum speed. Odelius lowers his stance and his knee sits in tow with the toe of his skate.
While Odelius does have lengthy skate extensions that allows him to get the necessary acceleration to stay aligned with puck movement, if he is reacting to a change in puck movement and he was pivoting out or making a turn, he struggles to activate and get quality acceleration. So, sometimes he is slow to loose puck battles as he couldn’t get a quality push off of a pivot, turn or rotation from backwards to forwards (or vice versa). It doesn’t seem to be an issue with leaning on edges to retain maximum speed as he usually does lean on his edges. Instead, it seems as if he isn’t rotation his hip fast enough off of the pivot. In order to keep the speed that you had before pivoting, you need a quick a hip rotation before going into stride. If your hips rotates too slowly, you’ve lost a lot of the momentum that you had. While it does seem to be an issue when he is going after loose puck or looking to put pressure on puck carriers, it doesn’t seem to be an issue when he is the one carrying the puck and deploying pivots to shake off pressure.
While there are some acceleration issues that need to be worked on, when Odelius is skating with possession of the puck, he has excellent crossovers and stride extensions that he will use interchangeably to propel himself up the ice.
In my opinion, Odelius’ floor is a second pairing defenseman at the NHL level. With his tool-set, he has proven that he can be a challenge in every zone with his vision and scanning abilities. As mentioned earlier, he reads puck movement well and knows just how many stride extensions it will take to get himself in position to defend. He can dictate what attackers do with the puck with his active stick. He can rely on his puck manipulation to garner enough space for him to escape pressure and net himself enough open ice to key up a quality passing lane leading to scoring opportunities. There is just so much in his game that will make him an asset at the next level.
May 30, 2022
stats from InStat and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
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