Winnipeg also hires goalie coach for minors
Eric O’Dell, the St. John’s IceCaps’ leading scorer last season, has reached agreement on a one-year, two-way contract with the Winnipeg Jets;
The deal is worth US$600,000 at the NHL level. In announcing the contract Tuesday, the Jets did not reveal what the 23-year-old centre would be paid at the American Hockey League level.
A native of Ottawa, O’Dell had 29 goals and 26 assists in 59 games with IceCaps in 2012-13, his second season with the IceCaps. In 98 career games with St. John’s, O’Dell has 77 points, including 41 goals, the most in the brief history of the IceCaps.
O’Dell, a product of the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL, was originally selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round, 39th overall, in the 2008 NHL draft and was eventually traded to the Atlanta Thrashers before the Thrashers franchise moved to Winnipeg to become the Jets.
In other IceCaps-related news from Tuesday, the Jets announced they’ve hired Dusty Imoo as a developmental goaltending coach, with responsibilities that will include St. John’s netminders.
The Jets haven’t had an official minor-league goalie coach since Rick St. Croix left the organization last year to become an assistant for the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
Imoo, a 43-year-old from British Columbia, spent the last two seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League.
Prior to that, he was a goaltending consultant for the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. Imoo also owns and operates Real Deal Training, which creates off-season conditioning and training programs for athletes.
Imoo played in the IHL, AHL and ECHL, but the bulk of his 15-year playing career was spent in Japan’s professional league.
He played for Japan at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano and participated in four world championships.