36 Days Until The Regular Season

Zach Laing
10 months ago
Throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll be counting down the days until the Edmonton Oilers begin their 2023-24 season with a daily trip down memory lane.
Today, we look back at Selmar Odelein, who wore 36 for the Oilers in the 1997-88 and 1988-89 seasons.

A June 11, 1984 edition of the Regina Leader-Post details four players from the WHL’s Regina Pats being selected in the NHL draft days prior — among them, Selmar Odelin.


When the Edmonton Oilers used their first-round pick in the 1984 draft to select Regina Pats rearguard Selmar Odelein, there was reason to be excited. He just came off a 71-game, 51-point season in the WHL and wasn’t even expected to be available when the team was on the clock with the 21st overall spot.
Odelein returned to Regina for the 1984-85 season, and saw a breakout year with 24 goals — 15 more than the year prior — and 59 points in 64 games. He and the Oilers couldn’t come to an agreement on a contract prior to the 1985-86 year so the rearguard rejoined the Pats. That, however, came to ahead when he was an emergency recall in February 1986 marking his first stint in the NHL. It lasted four games, and the 19-year-old registered two shots on goal over that time. But back in the WHL, a bum knee forced him out of 38 regular season and playoff games — an injury dating back to the 198384 training camp.
For Odelein, the 1986-87 season was far from ideal, and a sign of what was to come. After just two games with the AHL’s Nova Scotia Oilers, Odelein’s season was effectivly shut down after his knee flared up again. In October ’86, Odelein underwent three knee procedures in the span of two weeks.
Over the next number of years Odelein would bounce in-and-out of the Oilers’ lineups in Edmonton and Nova Scotia, with the most games he played in one season being 65 between the two leagues in 1988-89 — two games in the big leagues and the rest in the A — largely in thanks to his knee healing up.

In a Feb. 21, 1997 edition of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, former Edmonton Oilers defenceman Selmar Odelein talks about his hockey career.

“That’s a whole different chapter in my life, one I tried to forget,” Odelein told the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix in a Feb. 21, 1997 edition of the paper.
Unable to use the knee as a reason he couldn’t advance his career and not happy with sticking in the minors, Odelein left the Oilers and spent the 1989-90 season with the Canadian Olympic Team touring the world. He played 73 games that year scoring seven goals and 37 points, and then found out about hockey overseas.
“That was a real eye-opener,” Odelein said in the aforementioned paper. “I wish I’d have went there when I was younger. I had the chance, but I was talked out of it.”
He would spent two years in Austria between 1990-91 and 1991-92, and another two in England’s BHL league between 1992-93 and 1993-94. But in early 1994, during his first year with the Sheffield Steelers of the BHL, Odelein’s back gave out forcing him into retirement, and back to the farms of Quill Lake, Sask.
“I woke up and I could hardly walk one day,” Odelein said. “The doctor said my back was wearing out. I wasn’t ready whatsoever for this. All of a sudden, bang, you’re farming. You can hardly walk some days. I couldn’t even go out and play rec hockey.
“When I first came back from Europe, I couldn’t look at a Hockey News or watch hockey. All my friends who I played with on World Juniors, they’re already in the NHL as regulars and I’m going ‘This is brutal!”
Over his 18 NHL games, Odelein never scored a goal but notched two points, while in his 108 AHL games, he tallied 17 goals and 53 points.

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