OTTAWA – Cody Hodgson was not surprised one bit.
The 18-year-old centre from the OHL’s Brampton Battalion had a feeling the Vancouver Canucks would call his name with the 10th overall pick Friday night in the NHL’s entry draft.
“I met with them a few times actually,” said Hodgson, who was all smiles in his Canucks jersey. “I met with them at the combine and also outside of the combine.
“We had a really good feeling it would be them. We had a really good interview with them.”
The Canucks also have a good feeling about Hodgson, who had 40 goals and 45 assists in 68 games with the Battalion last season.
“Character, integrity – he’s been a winner all the way up,” said Canucks GM Mike Gillis. “The captain of the (Canadian) under-18 team with a long-time NHL coach (Pat Quinn). We felt he was the best player at that tournament. He has a lot of great features, we’re really pleased.”
Hodgson also impressed in the team interviews and that helped his case.
“Absolutely. He was really polished,” said Gillis. “He was thinking about the game in a lot of different ways. It was very positive.”
Hodgson is happy to be staying in Canada.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s a great day for my family and I,” he said. “I’m just really excited. Vancouver is a great hockey city with tonnes of great fans. It’s a good organization to go to.”
“I know they have some great players,” he added. “Obviously with Naslund and the Sedin brothers, Taylor Pyatt and a few other guys. And their coach, Alain Vigneault, is a really good coach.”
Can he make the jump next season?
“I’m not too sure but I’m going to work as hard as I can this summer to make it,” said Hodgson, five-foot-11 and 183 pounds. “It’s up to the coaching staff to make that decision but I’m going to work hard and try and make the team.”