Sometimes I have to pinch myself
… because I still can’t believe Cody Hodgson is a Canuck.
Team Canada won gold at the World Junior Hockey Championships for the fifth year in a row (Ed Willes, Vancouver Province; Don Campbell, Ottawa Citizen; Matthew Sekeres, Globe and Mail; Roy MacGregor, Globe and Mail) and Cody Hodgson was a big part of it. While John Tavares, PK Subban and Jordan Eberle were named by Team Canada officials as their top 3 players and Tavares was named the tournament MVP, Cody Hodgson quietly led the entire tournament with 16 points (IIHF scoring leaders in .pdf format). He played a lot and he played in all situations. He played so well in fact that the media named him to the First Team All-Star and Bob Mackenzie gave him his vote as the tournament’s best forward (TSN).
If I was given a vote for Canada’s best forward in the tournament, it would go to Cody Hodgson.
Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way. I love John Tavares and I have no problem with him being chosen as the top player in the tournament. I’ve been watching him since he was a little kid, he is a tremendous athlete and he had a phenomenal tournament, but for me the best all-around player and the tournament MVP was Hodgson.
Hodgson did everything for Canada. He scored goals including an enormous one in the Gold medal game, but it was more than that. No matter who he was playing against, be it the Americans, Russians, Swedes, he was absolutely terrific. I’m sure that he logged more minutes than any Canadian forward by the time it was all said and done. He was the offensive engine of this team, whether it be at even strength with Jordan Eberle and Zach Boychuk or making Tavares look great with perfect cross-crease passes on the power play.
Although I was blown away by his play, I was not surprised. Going into this tournament I absolutely believed that he would be Canada’s best all-around player and he did not disappoint. The Vancouver Canucks got a steal by choosing this kid 10th overall pick. Hodgson is all character and as mature a young man as you can find.
You can watch the video here (the Hodgson talk starts at the 4:35 mark).
There’s more Hodgson hype here:
- Hodgson proves his hype (Ed Willes, Vancouver Province)
- Hodgson’s star rising (Sean Gordon, Globe and Mail)
And some final words from Team Canada coach Pat Quinn:
“He’s the best,” Quinn said. “I shouldn’t say that, because we had a lot of good guys tonight. But he’s a leader. He’s smart. He’s a guy you depend on in key situations and he usually comes through.
“I had no doubt at any time about using him. I sent him out for key faceoffs. He lost a couple but he still knows where to go when he loses them.
“But I can’t say enough about the young man, both as a young man and how he approaches playing this game.”
Whether it’s next season or the season after, I can’t wait until he gets here.