Defenceman Oduya re-signs with Devils
Defenceman Johnny Oduya decided to stay with the New Jersey Devils rather than test the free agent market.
With free agency officially hours away, Oduya signed a multi-year deal with the Devils reportedly worth $3 million to $3.5 million US per season.
The talented Swedish-born blue-liner scored seven goals and 29 points last season for New Jersey.
Oduya was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent when the free agent period opened Wednesday had he not re-signed with the Devils.
"We are delighted to have Johnny Oduya stay with the organization," said New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello in a statement. "He has developed into one of the more talented young defencemen in the National Hockey League."
Playing in his third season, Oduya competed in all 82 games and seven post-season contests. He was an impressive plus-21 playing alongside partner Paul Martin.
Oduya has piled up 66 points (15 goals and 51 assists) in 223 games during his brief NHL career.
With the Devils clearly past their incredible blue-line era that included Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens, Oduya is part of a new crop, which boasts Martin, Colin White, Bryce Salvador and Mike Mottau.
The Washington Capitals originally drafted Oduya in 2001 (221st overall), but he opted to remain in Sweden until 2006, the same year the Devils signed him to a free agent contract.
He could also join his countrymen at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, an event the Swedish men won in 2006.