Hodgson has yet to impress

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

VANCOUVER - Given a favourable opportunity to succeed Tuesday, Cody Hodgson did not deliver his best. Rather, he was demoted.

The Canucks highly-touted prospect started the game on the second line with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond before dropping to the fourth line by the third period.

With two more preseason games remaining for the 2-4 Canucks after their 3-1 win over San Jose Tuesday, time is not on Hodgson's side.

Granted he's only played twice since returning from a back injury, but the former 10th overall pick must step up his game if he hopes to earn a spot on the opening day lineup.

"From a personal level, I felt comfortable and that's all I was asking for being at training camp here was to just get out there and get involved," Hodgson said. "Obviously I would like to create more of opportunities, that's more my game but that's how it goes sometimes."

The 20-year-old's most noteworthy moment in the game was being on the ice for the Canucks winning tally –- a beautiful effort by Mason Raymond to bring the puck out from behind the net and back hand it past Antti Niemi.

That was pretty much it for the youngster, who finished with two shots and a plus-one with 11:33 of ice time.

"I think Cody is progressing every period and every shift," said Raymond. "I know he's been out with injuries and it's tough to step in and play. The kid's got the skills, he's got the mindset, he's getting better all the time. We'll see how it goes down the stretch here but I enjoy playing with him."

Coach Alain Vigneault sees it as just another game experience for Hodgson.

"Cody is a skilled player with great offensive capabilities," said Vigneault. "If he's going to make this team, it's going to be on those qualities. Is it best for him to play eight, nine minutes a game here or is it best for him to play 20 minutes in Manitoba? What's best for our team? We're going to have to consider all those things."

Mikael Samuelsson and Jeff Tambellini had the other tallies for the Canucks, who have two more preseason games to make those roster considerations.

They head to San Jose Wednesday to play the second leg of a home-and-away with the Sharks.


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