2008-09: Brendan O’Donnell scored 38 goals with 45 assists and 4 PIM in 38 games for the Winnipeg Wild in Manitoba midget hockey.
2009-10: O’Donnell played for the Winnipeg South Blues in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. He scored 29 goals with 32 assists and had 55 PIM in 53 games. In four playoff games, he scored 2 goals with 1 assist as the Blues were swept by the Winnipeg Saints. O’Donnell was named MJHL Rookie of the Year and played for silver medal-winning Canada West at the World U-17 Challenge. He committed to play college hockey at the University of North Dakota in 2011-12. O’Donnell was selected by the Des Moines Buccaneers in the second round (18th overall) of the USHL Entry Draft but will play for the Penticton Vees in the BCHL next season.
2010-11: O’Donnell was the second-leading scorer for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL in his final season of junior hockey. The Flin Flon, Manitoba native scored 29 goals with 43 assists and had a league-high 18 power play goals in 58 games with the Vees, who finished second in the BCHL’s Interior Division. O’Donnell had 1 goal with 5 assists and 9 PMs in six playoff BCHL playoff games.
2011-12: O’Donnell skated in 17 games for the University of North Dakota as a freshman — missing time early in the year due to a leg injury and then suffering a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery in February. Playing primarily on the Fighting Sioux third line, he scored 5 goals with 1 assist and was plus-one. North Dakota finished fourth in the WCHA regular season but defeated regular season champion Minnesota and Denver on back-to-back nights to win the league’s Broadmoor Championship Trophy and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
2012-13: O’Donnell skated in 29 games for the University of North Dakota in his sophomore season. He scored 2 goals with 8 assists and had an even plus/minus with 20 penalty minutes. North Dakota finished third in the WCHA and after an overtime loss to Colorado College in the WCHA semifinals defeated Niagara before falling to eventual national champion Yale in the NCAA West Region final.
2013-14: O’Donnell played 35 of 42 games for the University of North Dakota as a junior. He scored 7 goals with 11 assists and was +9 with 10 penalty minutes. North Dakota finished second to St. Cloud State in the newly-formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference; losing to Miami, 3-0, in the NCHC semifinals but earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Midwest Regional with a win in the league’s third-place game. The Fighting Sioux defeated Wisconsin and Ferris State to win the regional; falling to Minnesota 2-1 in the Frozen Four semifinals on a goal in the game’s final second.
2014-15: O’Donnell scored a career-high 13 goals with 8 assists in 40 games for the University of North Dakota in his final season of college hockey. He finished the year +9 and had 35 penalty minutes. The Fighting Sioux finished first in the NCHC in the regular season, receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after back-to-back losses in the NCHC semifinals and third-place game. North Dakota defeated Quinnipiac and St. Cloud State to win the NCAA West Region before falling to Boston University, 5-3, in a Frozen Four semifinal game.
O'Donnell is a big and solidly built two-way forward who uses his hockey sense and strength to create scoring chances. He is a well-rounded player who takes care of both ends of the rink. Mostly in a lower line role for the Fighting Sioux until his breakout senior season when he was third on the team with 13 goals, he plays a strong game in all three zones and has the size to be effective in a lower line role.
O'Donnell concluded his college career in 2014-15, skating in 124 games for North Dakota over four seasons. He was unsigned as of May 2015 and would become an unrestricted free agent if not signed by the Lightning over the summer. He is likely to begin his pro career at either the ECHL or AHL level in 2015-16 but long-term could be a lower line forward in the NHL one day.