Finding positives in the Buffalo Sabres’ lost season is difficult.
Injuries and the law of averages have cooled off slick winger Thomas Vanek. The defense has performed so horrifically around goalie Ryan Miller it’s hard to realize he could be playing as well as ever.
Then there’s Cody Hodgson.
Yes, he’s still very raw defensively. But Hodgson has 10 goals and 21 points in 24 games, strong numbers that only rank behind Vanek’s 12 goals and 28 points.
The 23-year-old could be a franchise cornerstone for years, perhaps as Vanek’s personal pivot.
Hodgson’s greatest asset might be he wants to be a top center. Watch his dynamic, highlight-reel goal late in the Sabres’ 4-3 loss Tuesday in Carolina for proof.