The Vancouver Canucks recalled centre Cody Hodgson from the Manitoba Moose early Monday morning in a move that will likely allow the highly touted prospect to see the first NHL action of his young career.
Hodgson will fly from Manitoba to meet the Canucks in Dallas, and is expected to centre the fourth line during tomorrow night’s matchup against the Stars.
“Since Alex Bolduc got hurt, we’ve been trying different combinations,” said Canucks Assistant General Manager Lawrence Gillman. “Cody is a natural centre and this gives us the opportunity to get that skill set in our lineup”.
Before an early December injury forced him to miss 18 games with an orbital bone fracture, Hodgson was on fire for the Moose, registering eleven points (7-4) in 11 games during the month of November.
Hodgson, selected 10th overall by the Canucks in the 2008 NHL draft, was chosen Canadian junior hockey player of the year in 2009, ahead N.Y. Islanders 1st overall pick John Tavares.
A back injury forced Hodgson to miss most of the 2009-10 season, but he returned to lead the Brampton Battalion in playoff scoring with 11 points in 10 games.
He has 16 points (10-6) in 28 games with the Moose this season.
ANOTHER STELLAR MONTH
January was another successful month for the Western Conference’s best team, as the Canucks finished 8-2-4, garnering 20 of a possible 28 points.
It was the 3rd highest January point total in franchise history and 4th consecutive winning month for the Canucks to start the 2010-11 season.
Roberto Luongo won the January Molson Cup Three Stars; he earned 25 points, finishing 10 ahead of both Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler.
Luongo capped off an outstanding month with a first star performance in a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators last Wednesday. He finished January at 6-0-4, with a 1.73 GAA and a .947 save percentage.
Daniel Sedin was the top Canucks scorer with 17 points (7-10) in 14 games. He currently sits 3rd in NHL scoring, four points behind Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead.
PLAYERS LOVE CANUCKS
The Canucks organization and its players received some high praise from a poll of 318 NHL players conducted by the NHLPA and the CBC over the all-star weekend.
Perhaps the greatest honour bestowed upon the organization was their 2nd place ranking in the category of ‘team you would most like to play for’. The Canucks were the only West Coast team in the top five, trailing the Detroit Red Wings by three percentage points for first overall.
Rogers Arena was voted as the player’s 5th favorite rink to play in. The four rinks above: The Bell Centre in Montreal, Madison Square Garden in New York, The United Centre in Chicago and Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, are all home to original six franchises. The ranking is a credit to the Canucks faithful fan base, who’ve supported the team to the tune of 335 consecutive sellouts, creating an electrifying atmosphere for players and fans alike.
In addition, the crew at Rogers Arena was lauded for having the 5th best ice in the NHL, no small feat when considering the four arenas ahead of Rogers are all extreme cold weather cities.
The Canucks players also received high rankings.
Ryan Kesler is considered the 4th ‘toughest forward to play against’ in the NHL, behind Hart Trophy winners Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby and three time Selke winner Pavel Datsyuk.
While, Hart trophy winner Henrik Sedin’s intelligence is a quality not lost on his peers, as he is regarded as the 4th ‘smartest player in the game’, behind only Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Lidstrom.
Finally, NHL players agree with what Vancouver fans have known for a while: Roberto Luongo is on top of his game. He was voted as the ‘toughest goalie to beat’, with 17 percent of the voters giving him a first place nod.
See the full results here.