Hodgson a 'fine leader'

MATT KIELTYKA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:59 AM ET

Consider Pat Quinn a fan of Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson.

The legendary player, coach and manager told 24 hours yesterday that Hodgson was one of the stars of the Canada Under-18 team that Quinn coached to gold in Russia in April.

"He was a very good leader for us," Quinn said. "I was really impressed, he was a terrific young man."

Hodgson has been turning heads during the Canucks' pre-season preparations, with some analysts even suggesting a spot at the big club isn't out of the question this year.

But Quinn - Canada's coach at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Ottawa - has a more realistic outlook.

"I don't know if he'll be able to make the Canucks this year," he said, "but he will someday."

The coach said there are about 11 other eligible juniors who have aspirations of making their NHL clubs this year and it may be affecting their focus.

It was clearly an issue in July during a development camp for the junior.

"The feeling from the coaches that were there is that these boys were a little blase because at least 10 or 12 of them think that they're going to play in the National Hockey League and won't be eligible to play for the junior team so [they had] a 'why am I here?' type of thing," said Quinn, who was appointed head coach three weeks ago. "I hope that's not an attitude that's prevalent, because if it is, I'm going to have to change some of that."

QUINN FACTS

- Quinn's name appears on the Memorial Cup twice, once as a player for the Edmonton Oil Kings in 1963 and the other as owner of the Vancouver Giants in 2007.

- Quinn will coach his 10th Canadian team at the upcoming World Junior Championships.


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