A bad year just keeps getting worse for Cody Hodgson, the Vancouver Canucks first round pick in the 2008 National Hockey League entry draft. The 19-year-old has taken himself off the roster for the upcoming national junior team evaluation camp because of a lingering back problem.
The trouble started last summer when Hodgson injured himself preparing for Canucks training camp. Although he participated in training camp and even played in a handful of NHL preseason games, he was clearly labouring.
Hodgson was returned to junior by the Canucks but has yet to play a game this season for the Brampton Battalion, his Ontario Hockey League team. And now he's had to pull out of the running for the national junior team where he surely would have been a front-runner to be captain after starring for the gold-medal winning squad last year in Ottawa.
Hodgson's back troubles are being monitored closely by doctors and the Vancouver Canucks. Hodgson is still young, but clearly there has to be concern about the longterm health of the franchise's prize prospect.