|2012 - Cody Hodgson||48||15||19||34||-4||20||3||1||1||114|
Contract: $1.66 million this season, RFA this summer
Report Card Grade in 2012: 6 our of 10
Introduction:Cody Hodgson will forever be linked to Zach Kassian thanks to a trade involving the two players and the Vancouver Canucks. He entered this season as the Sabres de facto #1 center, and thanks to a very strong sophomore outing, Buffalo looks to have come out on top of that trade, at leas for now. But just how good was Hodgson's second campaign? Let's find out.
Key Stat: Hodgson finished first among all NHL second year players in goals with 15. His offensive ceiling will determine whether he can be a true #1 center or just a Derek Roy-esque very good #2, but this season was a promising improvement on the last.
You can't do any better than top of the class, but the Sabres need Hodgson to keep improving in order to maximize his scoring potential, especially considering his currently weak defensive play. Let's hope another summer with Gary Roberts does for him what it's done for other Roberts proteges James Neal and Steven Stamkos.
Thumbs Up:The Sabres new #1 center finished second on the team in goals, assists, points, power play goals, shooting percentage (among regular forwards), and third in shots and GWG, as well as ice time (for regular forwards).
Hodgson scored the majority of his goals in the third period, which is certainly a good period to score them in, and scored 9 of his 15 while the Sabres were down (though to be fair, that was more often than not this season.)
Thumbs...Sideways? I'm not sure whether this is good or bad, but it sure is interesting: Hodgson was far better away from the FNC than he was at home, scoring twice as many goals on the road as he did in Buffalo. The boos! They come back to haunt us again.
Thumbs Down: Defense. Just...all of his defense. Hodgson was routinely plagued this season with poor awareness of both his and his opponents positioning, not backchecking hard enough, and losing his man. He did get better as the season progressed, but as of now he's still very much a one-way center. Hodgson also didn't register many hits, and had more giveaways than takeaways. Additionally, he wasn't great in the dot, only winning 46.8% of his faceoffs.
Hodgson also faced relatively weak competition among Sabres forwards, despite playing with a high quality of teammates. If he's to become a true #1 center, Ron Rolston will need to be able to trust him to play against anyone, not just the weaker opponents, but again, his defensive ability holds him back here.
Voting: Using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with a A representing a great season, C an average season, and F a very poor season, grade Cody Hodgson on his performance this year according to the expectations you had for him.