2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Cody Hodgson

With the 2011-12 Buffalo Sabres ending in disappointment and after a few weeks for us to gather our thoughts, it's time for us to issue our report cards on the season. Over the next few weeks, we'll grade every player that wore a Buffalo Sabres uniform in 2011 and 2012, from Luke Adam to Mike Weber.

2011 - Cody Hodgson 83 19 22 41 1 10 7 0 3 154 12.3

Introduction: Cody Hodgson was not, I think, solely acquired to help the Sabres make the playoffs this past season. I believe that Darcy Regier acquired him to fill the void of "#1 center" for future seasons. Much like he gave up the future potential of Zack Kassian to acquire Hodgson, this was a move made for the 2012 season and beyond.

That belief makes it tough to grade Hodgson for this season. Not only did he only play 20 games for the Sabres, his offensive production dropped off after the trade, whether to a new team, new city, or the rookie wall. However, the kid is part of the team (and hopefully a big part) so we'll take a look at his numbers after the break.

Key Stat: While he has fantastic offensive upside, Hodgson must work to improve his play in his own zone, or he'll certainly find himself forever trapped in Lindy Ruff's Doghouse™. Through 20 games, Hodgson was a -7 with Buffalo, and while some of that can certainly be attributed to being on a new team, trying to learn a new system, and being thrown out against some quality competition, Hodgson was -5 over his last 5 games, when Buffalo was desperate for the playoffs. If he's going to achieve #1 center status, he must become at least an adequate defender.

Interesting Stat: Hogdson actually played 83 games this year, thanks to some fortuitous timing on his mid-season trade from Vancouver to Buffalo.

Thumbs Up: Cody Hodgson has excellent creativity and vision on the ice, with a scoring touch to boot. He's had success at every level he's played, and is still very young at age 22. He likes to shoot, finishing fifth on the team in shots, and does well on the powerplay, finishing third in both goals and total power play points.

Hodgson is very disciplined as far as penalties are concerned - he only took five minor penalties all season - and is good at drawing penalties, finishing third on the team in that category. He is willing to block shots, and finished 12th on the team in that category. Had more takeaways than giveaways. Trains with Scary Gary Roberts.

Thumbs Down: If he's going to be a top line center, it would be nice if Hodgson could improve on his 46.3% faceoff percentage. He seemed to struggle during his time with the Sabres, often looking lost on the ice, but that's to be expected for any new acquisition. Hits as often as Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy (that's not a lot, for the folks at home) and is in the bottom portion of the team in missed shots. We covered his defensive deficiencies above, and you won't be seeing him on the PK anytime soon.

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Cody Hodgson on his season according to the expectations you had for him. If he met them, give him a five or a six. If he eclipsed them, aim for a seven or beyond. If he failed to meet them, give him a lower number relating to how poorly he missed the target.

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how would you rate Cody Hodgson for his 2011-12 season?