Canucks select Brampton centre Cody Hodgson with first-round pick

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.

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“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.”