Apr 1, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (27) with the puck during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Blackhawks Over/Under Preview: Johnny Oduya

Since being acquired on the 27th of February, Johnny Oduya has become a good addition in the Chicago Blackhawks defense. He suited up for the final 18 games of the season, and Chicago won 13 of them. When the ‘Hawks are set up in the offensive zone, Oduya is a good fit on the point. Although there was some times when I questioned his defensive positioning, he is overall a very good two-way defenseman. Living in Manitoba, I had alot of Jets fans saying they were happy to get rid of him, until they saw his play in the red white and black.

Oduya was re-signed this offseason to a 3 – year, $10,150,000 contract. While Stan Bowman may have overpaid, (Cap hit all three years is $3,383,333) it would be a good time for Johnny to elevate his game to the next level. If/when Niklas Hjalmarsson leaves the team, Oduya could posibly become a top 4 defenseman. There may not be too many years left for him as a quality player in this league. Oduya will be watched closely this year by management to see if he’s worth the big paycheck he’s getting. He is in good health, and has only missed 1 game in the last 2 seasons.

In 63 games with the Jets last year, he had 2 goals, and 11 assists. In his 18 games with the ‘Hawks, he had 1 goal and 4 assists. This season, he will need to improve his game in all 3 areas of the ice, and be alot stronger on the puck, as a couple turnovers last year really cost the team. I’m putting his over/under at 3 goals, 14 assists. I have high hopes for Oduya, let’s hope he doesn’t dissapoint.

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