Mar 082010
Cody Hodgson, Jordan Schroeder and Kevin Connauton

I like Cody Hodgson, but he better not be the next coming of Sami Salo.

From Ben Kuzma (Vancouver Province):

When Cody Hodgson fractured a toe on his right foot while blocking a shot during an OHL game in Sudbury on Feb. 12, the Vancouver Canucks prospect wasn’t concerned because X-rays at the time revealed that it was more likely just a deep bone bruise. Not so.

When the pain persisted for three weeks, the Brampton Battalion centre had another X-ray and this one showed a hairline fracture that will keep the first-round draft choice sidelined until the OHL playoffs. Despite playing with a broken toe, Hodgson had managed 17 points (8-9) in that span and has 20 points in 13 games since returning from a bulging disc in his lower back that kept him sidelined more than four months.


Could Jordan Schroeder join the Manitoba Moose for their stretch drive?

From Ken Wiebe (Winnipeg Sun):

Although there has been no official word, there’s been plenty of speculation that Schroeder (who helped Team USA win gold at the world junior hockey championship in Saskatoon) plans to leave college after his sophomore season is complete and he could also join the Moose for the stretch drive.

Arniel isn’t sure how many players will be brought in or how many will get into the lineup as the season wears on.

“We’ve talked to Vancouver and we’ll talk some more about whether we’re going to bring all the prospects inhere or just a few in here,” Arniel said before his team departed for a two-game road trip against the Grand Rapids Griffins.


With 3 games left in their regular season, Kevin Connauton now shares the Vancouver Giants franchise record for most points by a defenseman.

From Steve Ewen (Vancouver Province):

Kevin Connauton, who finished a plus-5, had an assist on the Gallagher marker and now has 67 points on the season, tying him with Brent Regner’s 2008-09 effort for most points in a season by a Giants blueliner.

His 67 points place him 2nd in scoring among all WHL defensemen and 2nd among all WHL rookie scorers. Considering the other defensemen that have suited up for the Giants in the past – Andrei Meszaros, Jonathan Blum and Cody Franson among others – that’s quite an accomplishment for the Canucks’ 3rd round draft pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Dec 022009

Recently preliminary rosters for the World Junior Championships were released for a few teams and the Canucks right now have three prospects who have been invited to their respective country’s training camp for the junior tournament. Cody Hodgson is on Canada’s roster, Jordan Schroeder is on the USA’s roster and Anton Rodin is on Team Sweden’s roster.

Hodgson who struggled with a back injury throughout the Canucks pre-season was cleared for contact the same day he was invited to the WJ training camp. The Canucks prospect shone at last year’s tournament setting a new record for points scored in a single World Juniors Championship. He’s one of 7 returning players from last year’s squad, three defenceman and four forwards. He’s going to be relied upon to be a big part of the Canadian team’s leadership and with an unproven junior goaltender in net for Canada again, until the man between the pipes proves his calibre, the Canadians offense is going to win this championship. Hodgson’s coming back better after winning MVP honors in the OHL and his next goal should be to win captaincy of this team. He’s led the Battalion for years, he proved he was clutch and lead the offensive junior juggernaut last year at the same tournament, and he’s going to have to step up and showcase every aspect of his game.

Schroeder is a player that Canucks fans don’t get to see play too often. If you watch University of Minnesota hockey, or have access to it, that’s a different story. Schroeder didn’t make an appearance at the Canucks pre-season camp because he would have had to give up his NCAA eligibility and sign a pro contract. Should Schroeder make the team it’ll be a great chance to see how he’s developed with University of Minnesota in his time since the off season. The World Juniors is a fast paced and passionate tournament and it’ll be a good indicator of the speed and rate at which he can play. The Canucks are moving to build a team around a run-and-gun style hockey. Schroeder is a part of that as much as Cody Hodgson is so here’s to hoping he’s not another first round bust like Patrick White.

Rodin was the Canucks 2nd round pick 53rd overall in the 2009 NHL Entry draft. He’s been playing the year with Brynäs IF of the Elitiserien. He’s likely going to be on the 3rd or 4th lines for the Swedish Junior team and might even see some action on Sweden’s second power play unit. If he makes it he could be playing on a junior team with Flames prospect Tim Erixon and Ottawa Senators’ Erik Karlsson.

The Canucks have a lot to look forward to with these prospects and watching Canucks prospects at the World Juniors is going to make the whole thing that much more exciting. In my mind Hodgson is a shoe in for the team pending back injury and Schroeder will likely make the team as well. Rodin is going to be filling in a bottom 6 forward and I see him as having the least guaranteed spot. I’m certainly looking forward to a Canada/US WJHC final. Watching Hodgson and Schroeder duke it out for their country’s pride could show us a dimension of each player we’ve never seen. The pace of the tournament in it’s short length makes the World Juniors my favourite tournament to watch. Following Canucks prospects in it just adds to the experience.

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