Chris Oddleifson

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Chris Oddleifson
Born (1950-09-07) September 7, 1950 (age 63)
Brandon, MB, CAN
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Played for AHL
Providence Reds
Boston Braves
Dallas Black Hawks
NHL
Boston Bruins
Vancouver Canucks
NHL Draft 10th overall, 1970
California Golden Seals
Playing career 1972–1981

Christopher Roy Oddleifson (born September 7, 1950 in Brandon, Manitoba) is a retired professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League from 1972 until 1981. He is best known for his time with the Vancouver Canucks, where he was one of the team's top players for much of the 1970s and served as team captain in 1976–77.

Playing career[edit]

Oddleifson was selected 10th overall in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft by the California Golden Seals following a dominant final junior season with the Winnipeg Jets of the WCHL, during which he finished with 95 points (including a league-leading 64 assists) and 243 penalty minutes.

At the end of the 1969-70 season the Seals had traded their pick in the first round of the 1971 draft to the Montreal Canadiens, along with Francois Lacombe in return for Montreal's first round pick in 1970, Ernie Hicke and cash. As a result of the Seals' dreadful 1970-71 season, the Canadiens had the top pick in the 1971 draft, and used it to select future Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, while the Seals drafted Oddleifson with Montreal's number ten selection in 1970.

Oddleifson was assigned to the minors and would never play an NHL game for the Seals, and was dealt to the Boston Bruins mid-way through the 1971–72 season.

In 1972–73, Oddleifson finally made his NHL debut, appearing in 6 games for Boston without recording a point. He managed to crack the Bruins full-time in 1974–75 and acquitted himself well, highlighted by a four-goal game against the Golden Seals, the team that had given up on him two years earlier. Late in the season, he was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks in a deal for sniper Bobby Schmautz, and he finished out his rookie season with decent totals of 13 goals and 29 points in 70 games between Boston and Vancouver.

Oddleifson would have his breakout year in 1974–75, as he emerged as a leader on a young Canuck team which surprised by winning their division and making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. He proved himself to be an exceptional all-around player who possessed size, toughness, and playmaking ability, as well as the ability to play both at center and on the wing. He led the Canucks in scoring through the early part of the season, until a fractured jaw forced him to miss 20 games. Nevertheless, he finished with career highs of 16 goals and 35 assists for 51 points in just 60 games.

In 1975–76, Oddleifson would have his finest NHL season, as he notched 16 goals and a club-leading 46 assists for a career high 62 points. Although his production waned somewhat in the next few seasons, he remained one of the team's top all-around forwards and most popular players. He was named team captain for 1976–77, although he was replaced by Don Lever the following year. In 1977–78, he recorded a career-high 17 goals for the club.

By the 1979–80 season, the emergence of young stars like Thomas Gradin, Stan Smyl and Curt Fraser, as well as the acquisition of several skilled veterans, had pushed Oddleifson into a mainly defensive role, and he finished the season with career lows of just 8 goals and 28 points. Early in the 1980–81 campaign, he was assigned to the Dallas Black Hawks, effectively ending his NHL career.

Oddleifson spent two more seasons playing in Switzerland before retiring in 1983. He finished his NHL career with totals 95 goals and 191 assists for 286 points in 524 games, along with 464 penalty minutes.

Following his career, Oddleifson returned to Vancouver and became a successful real estate agent. He remains active with the Canuck Oldtimers squad.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1969–70 Winnipeg Jets WCHL 59 31 64 95 243
1970–71 Providence Reds AHL 66 15 42 57 95 10 1 4 5 25
1971–72 Oklahoma City Blazers CHL 68 18 44 62 134 6 0 2 2 12
1972–73 Boston Bruins NHL 6 0 0 0 0
1972–73 Boston Braves AHL 63 12 42 54 127 10 3 6 9 41
1973–74 Boston Bruins NHL 49 10 11 21 45
1973–74 Vancouver Canucks NHL 21 3 5 8 19
1974–75 Vancouver Canucks NHL 60 16 35 51 54 5 0 3 3 2
1975–76 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 16 46 62 88 2 1 2 3 0
1976–77 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 14 26 40 81
1977–78 Vancouver Canucks NHL 78 17 22 39 64
1978–79 Vancouver Canucks NHL 67 11 26 37 51 3 0 1 1 2
1979–80 Vancouver Canucks NHL 75 8 20 28 76 4 0 0 0 4
1980–81 Vancouver Canucks NHL 8 0 0 0 6
1980–81 Dallas Black Hawks AHL 46 12 36 48 30 5 0 3 3 0
NHL totals 524 95 191 286 464 14 1 6 7 8

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tony Featherstone
Oakland Seals first round draft pick
1970
Succeeded by
Rick Hampton
Preceded by
Andre Boudrias
Vancouver Canucks captain
1976–77
Succeeded by
Don Lever