2008-09: Derek Rodwell completed his second season with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilersimproved his totals across the board, scoring 17 goals,12 assists and 69 PIM’s in 41 games. Had he not missed time this season due to injury, his numbers likely would have been even better, as he spent most of the season playing on the Oilers second line. He was chosen by the Devils in the 5th round of the 2009 NHL draft.
2009-10: This would be Rodwell’s last season in the AJHL, tallying 18 goals and 53 points with Okotok. He would also add 9 points in 11 playoff games.
2010-11: Rodwell skated in 39 of 44 games for the University of North Dakota as a freshman. Playing in mostly a lower line checking role for a high-powered Fighting Sioux team that won the WCHA’s regular season and playoff titles, Rodwell scored 5 goals with 4 assists and was +2 with 20 PMs. North Dakota reached the Frozen Four semifinals before falling to Michigan, 2-0.
2011-12: Rodwell skated in 19 games for the University of North Dakota as a sophomore — suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in a game against Harvard on December 30th. Playing primarily a defense-first, checking line role for the Fighting Sioux, he had 1 goal with 1 assist and was minus-one with 2 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Rodwell returned from his shoulder injury to play in 32 of 42 games for North Dakota as a junior. Primarily in a lower line checking role on one of the nation’s top teams, he scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was an even plus/minus with 34 penalty minutes. The Fighting Sioux finished third in the WCHA and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after falling in overtime to Colorado College in a WCHA Final Five quarterfinal game. North Dakota defeated Niagara in the NCAA West regional semifinals before falling to eventual national champion Yale in the regional final.
Solidly built and still growing into his frame, Rodwell's forte is his strong skating and willingness to get involved physically. He buzzes around the ice with an abundance of energy and can be quite difficult to play against. Those skills also allow for him to be an effective fore-checker. He does possess some offensive skill, albeit it is somewhat limited. He's the type of player that thrives going to the net hard and battling for loose pucks and rebounds.
Rodwell's long-term upside isn't through the roof, but he has many suitable qualities that could eventually make him an effective checker in the future. He finished his NCAA career on a strong note giving a preview into the role he could play for the Devils. We will see how he progresses when he begins his pro career.