Former Nashville Predators forward Cody Hodgson has accepted a role with the organisation’s Learn to Play program, effectively ending his playing career in the process.
Hodgson will join fellow Predators alumni in teaching hockey skills to more than 1,200 children aged between 4 and 8-years-old at six rinks across Tennessee, Alabama, and Indiana as part of the Little Preds Learn to Play program.
Selected tenth overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 2008, Hodgson was once seen as something of a slam dunk to make the NHL and won the CHL Player of the Year, Red Tilson Trophy (OHL’s Most Oustanding Player) and William Hanley Trophy (OHL’s Most Gentlemanly Player) in 2008-09, but struggled to live up to expectations placed upon him.
He missed almost all of the 2009-10 season due to a serious back injury sustained during off season training, which derailing his progress somewhat, but even after breaking in to the NHL the Toronto native struggled for consistency throughout his career, scoring 20 goals in a season just once with a career high of 44 points in the same season (2013-14).
Hodgson featured in 328 career NHL games in total, representing the Canucks, Sabres and Predators. He registered 64 goals and 142 points during that span, adding one assist in twelve play-off outings for the Canucks.
The 26-year-old appeared in 39 games with the Predators last season, scoring three goals and eight points, also spending time with the AHL Milwaukee Admirals.
He did not receive a qualifying offer from the franchise this summer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.