All signs seem to indicate that Cody Hodgson is going to make the Vancouver Canucks roster. And for now, the young centre is starting to gel with some new linemates.
Last season's Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year is skating with Vancouver veterans Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows.
"It's a great opportunity," said Hodgson. "They're great, established players already and we know they've got lots of speed and tenacity. It should be fun out there."
Hodgson was sent back to the OHL's Brampton Battalion after attending camp last year with the Canucks, and he excelled in his final junior season. He scored 43 goals and 92 points in 53 regular season games, and added 31 points in the post-season while leading Brampton to the OHL final.
"He's more of an offensive type player, so we should try him on the power play and we should try him with players that have more than offensive capability," said head coach Alain Vigneault. "We'll give him that opportunity and we'll see what the young man can do."
The 19-year old Toronto native has already made a strong impression with his new teammates. He was taken with the 10th overall pick by the Canucks in the 2008 draft.
"He's a first-rounder and he has a lot of expectations on him and probably a lot of pressure and he's dealing with it like a professional," said Kesler of Hodgson. "He's mature beyond his years."
"I think he knows that he's got a lot of expectations to fulfill but he's still a young guy," said Burrows. "He's still learning and we're trying to help him out. He's doing a good job so far."
Hodgson knows that he is being given every chance to show his strengths by the Canucks' coaching staff.
"Obviously there's pressure here but I like it," explained Hodgson. "I'm playing with some great wingers right now and hopefully I make the most of this opportunity."