Vancouver Canucks: Evaluating Cody Hodgson's Rookie Season to Date

Joel ProsserCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 11:  Cody Hodgson #9 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on prior to the start of the game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on November 11, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Cody Hodgson is the most talked about Canucks rookie since the Sedins debuted over a decade ago.   

So how is he doing this season? Is he meeting the expectations of Canucks fans? 

Hodgson had a goal in the Canucks' last game versus the Montreal Canadiens, and then scored another highlight-reel goal in the shootout to complete the come-from-behind victory. He was named the first star, and even two days later is still trending on Twitter in Vancouver.

Hodgson has six goals and nine assists in his first 28 games. This puts him tied for fifth with Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows for scoring amongst Canucks forwards. 

He has also been responsible without the puck, picking up a plus-four rating, 12 blocked shots and nine takeaways while only taking a single minor penalty all season.

Hodgson's 15 points ranks him sixth overall for rookie scoring. 

Assuming he plays a full 82-game schedule, Hodgson is on pace for 18 goals and 26 assists, good for 44 points. 

At the beginning of the season, I predicted that a 40-point season would be considered a very successful rookie season for the 21-year-old Hodgson, and most fans agreed with this prediction in a poll. 

But at the time, it was predicted that Hodgson would play a top-six role, most likely alongside Ryan Kesler. Instead, Hodgson has played most of his minutes on the third line at even strength, and on the second power-play unit, which makes his production even more impressive. 

Averaging only 13:10 per game, Hodgson plays considerably less minutes per game than the average rookie in the top 10 for rookie scoring.  

For comparison's sake, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins leads the rookie scoring race with 32 points, but he also averages 17:12, playing in all the top offensive situations. 

Considering where he ranks on the current Canucks roster, Hodgson is sixth in scoring, but is only 10th in ice time. 

For Canucks fans who want to compare Hodgson's rookie season with some current Canucks stars, Henrik and Daniel Sedin had 29 points and 34 points respectively as 20-year-olds in the 2000-2001 season. 

In 2005-2006, Ryan Kesler had only 23 points as a 21-year-old rookie in his first full NHL season. 

As an individual, Hodgson seems well on the way to having a successful rookie season.  

And as a Canuck, Hodgson is contributing in a significant way to the secondary scoring behind Kesler and the Sedins. 

Is the former CHL player of the year meeting your expectations during his rookie season?