May 25 2009 02:25PM
I am EXCITED to have this kid start next season. And yes, I believe that he WILL start for the Vancouver Canucks next season. Whether he starts with the big club or not, it's my opinion that he ABSOLUTELY SHOULD play with the Canucks in 2009-2010. The Canucks need to get younger and more skilled, and Cody Hodgson can provide youth, poise and skill in spades to the team next year.
In the long term, the Canucks need to guarantee that Cody stays with the team for his career. I think you're looking at the next Linden - the next franchise-defining player and the next captain of the Vancouver Canucks.
A look at the roster right now shows that Hodgson would likely slot in to the third line, assuming the Sedins are re-signed. He may even move up to the second line as the season rolls along, depending on how his play progresses.
Here are the five reasons to love Cody Hodgson:
1. A history of winning. He already has two gold medals to his young name (U18 and WJC). His junior this year, the Brampton Battalion, set new franchise records for both points and wins, and were runners-up in the OHL championship. Since then, he has joined the Manitoba Moose, who are (as of today) one win away from a berth in the AHL finals.
2. Immediate impact. He joined the Manitoba Moose on May 15th during their drive for an AHL championship. In his first professional game, he tallied an assist. In his second pro game, he scored his first professional goal. He has stepped in and provided immediate dividends.
3. League-wide recognition as an MVP. This past season in the OHL, Hodgson was named the player of the month twice, and won two league awards. He won the OHL Most Outstanding Player award, ahead of John Tavares and teammate Matt Duchene - both of whom are expected to be drafted Top 3 this year. He also won the OHL Most Sportsmanlike Award. Effectively, he won the OHL equivalent of the Lady Byng and the Hart trophies this year. He then went on to win the CHL Player of the Year award.
4. Rises to the occasion on the "big stage". In the 2009 WHC, he was the tournament's point leader with 16 pts in 6 GP, surpassing John Tavares, and was also named to the tourney's All-Star Team. In the WHC Gold Medal game, he scored two goals and an assist. In this year's OHL All-Star Game, he was named the game's MVP. When the spotlight is on him and his team, he can overcome the pressure and rise to the occasion.
5. Coaches recognize him as the best. Hodgson was selected the best player in four separate categories for the OHL eastern teams. In their annual poll OHL coaches selected him as the smartest player (for the second consecutive season), the hardest worker, the best on faceoffs and the best penalty killer.
I have reason to believe that the next jersey I get will be a Blue #19 Hodgson jersey. How about you?