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Can Cody Hodgson finally make the leap?

Aug 2, 2012, 12:03 PM EDT

Andrei Markov, Cody Hodgson AP

For what seemed like forever (it was actually two years), we heard about how Cody Hodgson would be the kid who’d be the next big thing out of Vancouver. He was their first-round pick in 2008 and when he finally arrived late in the 2010-11 season, hype reached its peak.

Hype didn’t translate into results, however, and on a loaded Canucks team Hodgson found it frustrating playing on the third or fourth line. Issues behind the scenes seemed to pile up and he was sent to Buffalo at the trade deadline. While Sabres coach Lindy Ruff bounced Hodgson up and down the lineup in his 20 games with Buffalo, he enters this season with a real opportunity.

With Derek Roy now in Dallas and Steve Ott taking up residence as a potential center or winger, Hodgson’s playmaking potential has a huge opportunity to grow. After all, the Sabres have a host of guys that can finish. Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Drew Stafford, and Tyler Ennis were all double-digit goal scorers last season. Vanek, Pominville, and Stafford are all former 30-goal guys.

If Hodgson can take charge, he’s got a shot to be their No. 1 center. With 2012 first-round picks Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons, the Sabres won’t be short on centers for long, but for now it’s up to Hodgson to show that the hype wasn’t all for naught.

  1. sergeikremlin - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Hodgson just needs to play hockey and earn his keep in the NHL. He didn’t get preferential treatment from Vigneault and he’s not going to get it from Ruff.

    Now he’s close to his family (aka “his camp”) and playing on a team without two all-star centers. The puck is firmly in Hodgson’s zone, the door is wide open, Hodgson has gotten everything he wants.

    Now it’s all up to Hodgson to prove he is a top-6 NHL center.

    • terrypegula - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Did you mean to say he is no longer playing with two all-star centers? If not, I don’t know who these two all-star centers are in Buffalo…

      • elemeno89 - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:10 PM

        “Now he’s close to his family…and playing on a team without two all-star centers.”

        it’s ok, i forget to read sometimes too…

      • terrypegula - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        My bad. I apparently can’t read. haha

  2. rushledger - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Interesting no one mentioned the whole Vancouver situation were they purposely put him in a lot of offensive situations to drive up his numbers for trade bait because the GM didn’t care for him. Very interesting ordeal because they said he was a negative to the team.

    • elemeno89 - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      kind of was mistreated in vancouver. coho seems like a nice kid with a ton of skill. and the top comment had it right. right now buffalo has no solid number one guy, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to take that role.

      time to step up cody, and i know you can.

    • elvispocomo - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      While Gillis and Vigneault did prop up his numbers leading up to the trade, I don’t think I’d say Gillis didn’t like Hodgson specifically. It’d be more accurate to say Gillis doesn’t like his agent, and possibly any suggestions that came from Hodgson’s dad probably were less than helpful. Without those two influences, I think Hodgson would have still been a Canuck.

  3. hitem396 - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    vs Kassian

  4. dasportsninja - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    I think CoHo will have a huge year. He put up some very good numbers for a rookie who played on the 3rd line and didn’t get many powerplay minutes. I can’t believe the sabres were able to get him for Kassian. CoHo will be a future allstar and number 1 center. Kassian is a bust. He only played 5 minutes a game after we got him at the deadline. He is not quick enough to be an effective tip 6. He is a 3rd or 4th line player at best. I think 5 years from now people will say this is one of the worst trades ever.

  5. millertime30 - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    “I think 5 years from now people will say this is one of the worst trades ever.”

    *people in Vancouver.
    :)

    • elvispocomo - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      Don’t lump us all together with that guy, this is hardly on par with the Neely/Pederson trade for us, or the Naslund/Stojanov trade for Pittsburgh. I don’t even think it’s that bad, and would put it about even once both players have developed. They’re just different in what they bring and I expect both to have a good showing this year.

  6. bigoldorcafromvan - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    I am a huge Cody Hodgson fan and I was hoping all would work out in Vancouver for him. He has a great opp in Buffalo to be their #1. Cody did put up good #s in Van on the 3rd line usually playing against the oppositions 3rd or 4th line. We will all see how he does if he is Buffalo.s first line centre playing against other teams first lines in most every game. Good Luck in Buffalo Cody.

  7. vanfoodman - Aug 4, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    I said it when he was a Canuck, I say it now, Hodgson is nothing more than a complimentary player. He lacks the foot speed and size to be anything more. Anyone who thinks he’s a top six is dreaming and that includes his parents.

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