ANAHEIM, Calif. --
In perhaps the biggest move Monday, the Buffalo Sabres
acquired center Cody Hodgson
and defenseman Alexander Sulzer
from the Vancouver Canucks
for Sabres prospect forward Zack Kassian
and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani
Hodgson, taken by Vancouver with the 10th pick of 2008 Entry draft, currently is tied for second among rookies with 16 goals in 63 games, which makes him the third leading scorer on the Sabres.
Neither player was available for practice Tuesday, as they were back in Buffalo for their physicals. Hodgson also had to take care of paperwork regarding his work visa. The Sabres expected both players to arrive in time for the game.
With the Sabres, Hodgson will be reunited with Sabres center Tyler Ennis
and defenseman Tyler Myers
; the three won gold medals with Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.
"He was a huge part of our gold-medal team,” Ennis said of Hodgson, who led that tournament with 11 assists and 16 points in six games. "He was probably one of the best guys in the tournament."
Added Myers, "If he plays anything like he did in the World Juniors, he's a very good player. He was a really nice kid. I know that was three years ago, but I doubt much has changed."
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff
said it will be "trial and error" working in Hodgson. He said the initial thought would be to have him center Ennis and Drew Stafford
"I know we're getting a real good player," Ruff said. "I've heard nothing but good things about Hodgson and the offensive side of it. I told the team that there's some guys that are going to get a bigger role, some guys will get different roles. We've got a guy that left that was our top penalty guy, top faceoff guy, and he was the guy that played the last minute of the game. Players are usually begging for those responsibilities and I want to see who comes through."