Jeff Odgers is one of those blue collar players that every hockey fan loves. He plays every shift as it were his last, inspiring his teammates through his bruising and unselfish style of play. He was a leader in the dressing room but first and foremost on the ice, leading by example.
Honest and hard working described Odgers game perfectly, which comes as no surprise for the farm boy from frigid Saskatchewan. His finesse skills were marginal at best, which is probably why he was never drafted by a NHL team. He relied on his uncompromising physical play night in and night out, forcing turnovers with his relentless forechecking.
By doing so he became a fan favorite in San Jose, Boston, Colorado and Atlanta in a career that spanned 13 professional seasons. Odgers survived 821 NHL contests, scoring 75 goals and 145 points while amassing 2364 well earned penalty minutes.
For Odgers surviving is just a way of life. He grew up in remote Spy Hill, Saskatchewan and has always been an outdoorsman. He even owned his own fishing and hunting camp near Nondalton, Alaska, which is 180 miles southwest of Anchorage with a population just over 200 people. There is no running water, no electricity and living quarters Odgers refers to as “primitive.”
Odgers would take NHL friends up there hunting caribou. One summer he, Shean Donovan and Chris Tamer were stranded in the wilderness, with three dead caribou no doubt attracting interest from hungry animals, as the float plane could not land and pick them up due to a severe storm that ravaged all but one tent.
Nowadays Odgers also scouts for the Prince George Cougars WHL junior team. His son John was picked up by the Cougars. It takes no imagination to figure out what the next generation of Odgers' brings to the ice.