Saturday

Dan Hodgson

Dangerous Danny Hodgson was never able to come close to duplicating his junior exploits at the National Hockey League level. But maybe that was unrealistic, as Hodgson had one of the greatest junior hockey careers in history!

Hodgson was an incredible center for the Prince Albert Raiders for three seasons from 1982 through 1985. In his rookie junior season he scored 56 goals and 74 assists, unheard of numbers for a newcomer. He easily won the WHL rookie of the year award. But those numbers were dwarfed by back to back 180 point seasons in the following two years. Both years Dan led the WHL in assists with well over 100, and this despite missing time in both seasons to represent Canada in the World Junior Championships. He also was a key performer in the Raiders 1985 Memorial Cup win, leading all playoff scorers with a 3 point per game average in 13 playoff games! For his efforts he was named as the Memorial Cup MVP and he also won the grand daddy of all junior awards in 1985 - the Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year award.

Hodgson was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 4th round of the 1983 draft, 85th overall. He never fulfilled his promise, largely because of his size, or more so his lack of it. At just 5'10" and 175 pounds, he was always behind the 8 ball and didn't get the breaks a bigger, less talented player often gets.

After being sent to the minor leagues in 1986, the Leafs traded Hodgson to Vancouver .Hodgson finished the year in Vancouver, though did not make a big splash.

Dan got his big break in 1987-88, literally. He got off to a flying start, scoring 3 goals and 10 points in the first 4 games. He was near the top of the league in the early scoring race, thanks to a 5 point game against Pittsburgh, but his success and season came to a sudden end when he broke his leg after colliding with the Calgary Flames aggressive blueliner Brad McCrimmon.

He only played in 23 games after recovering from the injury, though was never able to show what he had early in 87-88. He spent more time in the minor leagues, where he put up some outstanding numbers.

Dan left pro hockey in North America as the 1980s came to a close. He went on to star in Switzerland and Germany throughout the 1990s.

2 comments:

kendrah hodgson,  11:12 PM  

im really proud of my uncle <3

Dave Leblanc 4:12 PM  

I am too sis. Very proud!

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