Canucks Report - Wednesday Dec.3rd
16 days of Linden: Day 3
Plays of the week
The Vancouver Canucks, in conjunction with Hockey Canada, are proud to announce that centre Cody Hodgson has been invited to participate in Canada’s National Junior Selection camp from December 11-15, 2008 in Ottawa, Ontario at the SBP Arena and the Roberto-Guertin Arena.
Hodgson was the Canucks first round pick, 10th overall in the 2008 NHL entry draft. The 18 year old centre, signed his first pro contract on Sunday October 5, 2008 after playing in three NHL preseason games, recording an assist and six penalty minutes.
"Cody has continued to grow," said Pat Quinn, head coach of Canada’s 2009 National Junior Team. "He's a dominant player for his team in Brampton.
"I had him overseas and you don't know where your leadership is coming from when you don’t know the kids. He stepped forward very early on in the process and showed the kind of young man his is, but also he was one of our strongest players in a two-way sense over there. He played special teams, both power play and penalty kill and I think he’s got quite a future."
Playing for the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Hodgson has registered a team-leading 35 points (17 goals and 18 assists) in 20 games this season, helping the club set a new franchise record of 16 consecutive victories.
“I’ve been able to watch Cody for a number of years now and I think every time you see Cody play the first thing that catches your eye is his hockey sense, his positioning,” said Al Murray, head scout of men’s national teams, Hockey Canada. “He seems to be a step ahead of everybody on the ice. I think he’s worked really hard to develop skating, which is sort of a concern from some National Hockey League people last year.
"He played two under-aged teams for us, both on international sized ice surface and he was our top player in both tournaments, back in August a year ago, and also in April. He was our best player and arguably the MVP of both events. When you watch him play he takes less steps than everyone else and his skating continues to develop. I think Cody is one of the finest all around players that we have available to us right now and hopefully he comes in and is able to play his top game for us at camp."
UPDATES FROM HOCKEYTOWN, USA
The Canucks arrived in Detroit today and wasted no time preparing for their match up tomorrow night against the high flying Red Wings. Goaltender Curtis Sanford and forward Darcy Hordichuk, both absent from yesterday's practice joined the team as they skated at Joe Louis arena.
Vancouver has been buzzing with speculation about the Canucks' goaltending situation after Sanford left Monday's game against Columbus with back spasms, leaving Moose call-up Cory Schneider the only healthy goalie traveling with the team.
Sanford sat out of yesterday's practice and assistant equipment manager Jamie Hendricks, a former minor league goaltender, filled in. However, Sanford was ready to go today and is determined to get back into action as soon as possible.
"It's always fun," said Hendricks. "You get to do that childhood dream of playing in the NHL. This is the closest I'll ever get. I love it and the players don't let up, either."
While head coach Alain Vigneault will make a game day decision about who will start in net against Detroit, Sanford is expected to be ready for Thursday's game if he gets the nod. As Sanford and Schneider hold down the fort, Roberto Luongo continues to make strides towards returning from his groin injury. He skated for the second yesterday for the second day in a row, working out for 50 minutes with goalie consultant Ian Clark.
"It's something you know and now I know I'm not ready [to practice with the team]," said Luongo. "You have to know when you're ready to play and obviously that's not the case right now. We still have some work to do. We have to make sure we keep strengthening it so we don't have any setbacks when I do go back in the net. [Tuesday] I really pushed it pretty hard and it felt alright."Hordichuk sustained a slight fracture to his left foot on November 29th after blocking a shot in the game against Calgary. The tough winger is questionable to play in tomorrow's game.
"It's feeling better, the swelling is going down," Hordichuk said. "We have been icing it every day and getting ready to come back hopefully sometime later this week."