Derek Rodwell
Image: North Dakota

Derek Rodwell


Taber Alberta

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5th round (144th overall), 2009


190 lbs.

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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 fifth round (144th overall) 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 plus-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-1 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.

2013-14: Rodwell skated in 33 games for North Dakota in his senior season. Playing on the Fighting Sioux third line with Connor Gaarder and Brendan O’Donnell he scored 5 goals with 5 assists — both career highs — and was plus-6 with 28 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 over Western Michigan 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. Rodwell was not tendered a contract by New Jersey; becoming an unrestricted free agent. He was signed by the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL in October 2014. 

Talent Analysis

Rodwell was drafted by the Devils late in the 2009 NHL Draft largely due to his solid frame and projectable size; with the understanding that he would spend four years playing college hockey. While he is a strong skater and plays a physical game the other elements of his game never quite reached the level that New Jersey hoped they would. Rodwell plays with an abundance of energy and can be difficult to play against which allows him to be an effective fore-checker but other than going to the net hard and battling for loose pucks and rebounds there is not a lot to his game at this point.


Rodwell was not signed to an entry-level contract by the Devils following his college career at North Dakota and is skating for the ECHL's Colorado Eagles in 2015-16 in his first pro season. With limited offensive upside and little in terms of scoring skills, he may be an effective checker in the future. Whether he has the ability to play at the NHL level is uncertain at this point.

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