Swift Current Broncos prospect Dakota Odgers is hoping that a difficult decision will payoff long term in his hockey career.
Odgers, 16, stuck with the Broncos to open the 2012-13 season before asking the team to be reassigned to the Yorkton Midget AAA Harvest, where he has played under his dad, former National Hockey Leaguer Jeff Odgers.
“Things have been going really good. We are a really young team and we have developed into a really solid contending team. We have points in our past 14 games and it is a pretty impressive streak and a great group of guys to be with,” explained Odgers after a wild 8-6 win over the host Swift Current Home Hardware Legionnaires Saturday.
The Harvest finished the season in fifth spot in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League and will now face the Regina Pat Canadians in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think we have a great shot with any team. We have beat every team that we are going to face in the playoffs. I feel confident in us going forward and making a long run,” said Odgers.
Odgers is currently second on the team in scoring with 47 points in 38 games and led the team with 35 assists.
“Things have been going good. I feel like there are little things in my game that I wanted to develop. I have worked on those things in practice and really got to take my game to the next level. Certain things are starting to pay off and there are certain things where you know you just have to keep working at everyday in practice to become a better player.”
He was the Broncos’ second-round pick, 24th overall, in the 2011 Bantam Draft.
The 5’11’’ 187-pound centre from Spy Hill appeared in six games with the Broncos with 12 penalty minutes before being reassigned Oct. 16, 10 games into the Broncos season.
“I requested that. It was a really hard decision,” he explained. “Everything about Swift Current was awesome. The organization was awesome. The coaching staff was awesome. The players were awesome. It was something that came down to just a decision to play at my own age group and get some experience that way, with the special teams, and as I said, the little things in my game that I wanted to take that step to the next level.”
He is hoping that the decision to return to Yorkton will pay off.
“I hope so. That is why I made it was to hopefully become a better player down the road and become an impact player for the Swift Current Broncos hopefully one day.”
He remains in touch with the team especially fellow Yorkton minor hockey teammate Tanner LeSann, who broke into the WHL this season as a 17-year-old rookie.
“Yeah I still follow them really close. Tanner LeSann especially I keep in contact with on a really regular basis. He has really done well for himself up here this year and I am really proud.”
Odgers said that he fully intends to be in camp next August with the Broncos.
“Oh for sure yeah. Everything going forward is working towards coming to camp next year and competing for a spot.”