Like most fathers, John Odnokon became involved in hockey when his four sons began playing the game. Unlike most fathers, his talents took him to a level even he himself never imagined.
John was born in Blaine Lake on October 31, 1930. An avid sportsman all his life, John really became involved in hockey when his family moved to the Crescent Heights area of Prince Albert.
One of the roles he assumed in his new community was sharpening skates for the kids. His proficiency in this discipline brought him in contact with the expansion Prince Albert Raiders of the Saskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League. The rest, as they say, is history.
In 1972, John joined the executive of the Northern Hockey Development Association – the governing body for the Raiders – and in the next 10 years he served in a number of capacities. Among them was chairman of the board for the SAJHL from 1974 until 1982. In this role, John’s voice of reason was often listened to as he headed a rules committee and developed and implemented league policies.
When the Raiders left the SAJHL to join the Western Hockey League in 1982, John stepped down from the executive position he had held for a decade, but that wouldn’t last long. In 1994, John returned to the board of directors for the Raiders and in 1996 was elected president. John also headed a task force to come up with solutions on how to get the Raiders financially stable and in this endeavor helped develop a vision statement and philosophies.
John’s other involvements in hockey were always behind the scenes as he was a minor hockey coach and manger with one of his clubs winning a provincial title in 1975-76. John has also worked at club-level development hockey schools in addition to serving on the minor hockey league board of directors.
A lifetime member of the SAJHL it is with great pride that the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame welcomes John Odnokon into its shrine in the builder category.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.