Johnny Oduya was born October 1, 1981 in Stockholm, Sweden. Washington's sixth choice, 221st overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Oduya joined the Devils after being signed as a free agent on July 17, 2006.
An aggressive defenceman, Oduya spent five seasons in Sweden, three of which were in the Elite League, before making his North American debut in 2000-01 the QMJHL's Moncton Wildcats and Victoriaville Tigers. After his season in the "Q", he moved back to Sweden and spent five seasons overseas. A year after he was dismissed by the Washington Capitals, the New Jersey Devils opted to sign the free agent who was expected to start with the club's AHL affiliate. However a banged up Devils' defence opened a few roster spots that Oduya comfortably filled in during 76 regular season games.
On February 4, 2010, Oduya was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers as part of a package of players and draft picks that saw the Devils acquire all-star Ilya Kovalchuk.
After two and a half seasons with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise in which Oduya continued to progress as a solid two-way NHL defender, he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on February 27, 2012 in exchange for second and third round draft picks.