Hodgson joins Canucks for playoffs

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:25 AM ET

The Manitoba Moose will be without one of their top point producers when the Calder Cup playoffs begin next week.

Although the official paperwork won’t be filed for another day or two, it became apparent on Saturday night that rookie centre Cody Hodgson is joining the Vancouver Canucks for the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Hodgson was seen shaking hands with his teammates, his bags and sticks were packed and he confirmed to the media he was about to get his first taste of the post-season in the NHL — though he’s not yet sure where he’ll fit in.

“Obviously, it’s tough leaving here with guys that I’ve been with all year, going into playoff time and crunch time is when you want to go and really show your worth and your value to your teammates,” said Hodgson, who had 17 goals and 30 points in 52 American Hockey League games this season and a goal and two points in eight NHL games with the Canucks. “I’m getting a great opportunity in Vancouver and it’ll be a great experience. Something I’m looking forward to.

“I don’t know what the story is. That’s a question for somebody else. I’m just going to go and do my best, wherever I am. If I’m practicing or playing, I’m going to give it one gear and that’s full speed and hope for the best.”

With Raffi Torres suspended and Manny Malhotra lost for the season with an eye injury, the Canucks played Saturday’s regular-season finale against the Calgary Flames with defenceman Aaron Rome playing on the fourth line, so there’s a real possibility will get thrown right into the proverbial fire on either the third or fourth line.

“It’s every kid’s dream to play for the Stanley Cup and there’s a great chance in Vancouver,” said Hodgson, the Canucks first round selection (10th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. “I’m looking forward to stepping in, hopefully being able to play and help contribute.”

Hodgson admits he’s done plenty of learning during his first pro season.

“There’s been lots of stuff, learning from the veterans here and seeing how guys conduct themselves,” said Hodgson. “I’ve felt progressively better throughout the season, physically, mentally. I feel a lot more comfortable on the ice.”

The Canucks are also expected to recall winger Victor Oreskovich in the coming days.

Oreskovich had four goals and 12 points in 40 games with the Moose and one assist in 10 games with the Canucks.

The Moose expect to open the playoffs on Thursday in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters.


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