If The Hockey News' prediction of 52 points along with Calder considerations are accurate, then 19-year-old Cody Hodgson will need to find a way to earn a top-nine forward spot. Easier said than done.
The club has never been stronger at centre. Hank Sedni may be this franchise's best ever at the position. Kesler is the second coming of Rod Brind'amour with a potenially bigger offensive upside. The one job that some thought could be Hodgson's was Kyle Wellwood's third-line centre gig. After last year's camp debacle nothing was in stone this season for Wellwood unless, of course, you include his abs. By arriving at camp in top shape, he served notice to GM Mike Gillis that he is serious about earning a long term contract along with some respect. He has more than earned the latter. So far, the noticeably speedier Wellwood has been one the most impressive Canuck forwards.
Enter Russian rookie Sergei Shirokov. If he is able to shake off his recent knee strain and pick up where he left off the entire balance of power shifts dramatically. This time a quality forward may have to find himself minutes on the fourth line.
There're basically two options for Cody: Keep him on the roster and let him centre a offensive fourth line. Or send him back to junior with his tail between his legs. Outside of injuries, there is no third option. I'm thinking THN could use a mulligan on this one.
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