TONIGHT'S visit by the Sabres will be the re-introduction of centre Cody Hodgson to the MTS Centre fans.
Hodgson, the 22-year-old first-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2008, played 52 games last season for the AHL's Manitoba Moose.
Hodgson had eight regular-season games for Vancouver last season, but blossomed into a productive player there -- 16 goals and 33 points -- before being traded to Buffalo last Monday.
The man who coached Hodgson here last season, Jets coach Claude Noel, has liked what he's seen from his former player.
"He looked good," Noel said Sunday as the Jets prepared to meet Hodgson and the Sabres tonight. "I think Cody sees himself as an NHL player and did see himself there last year, although he was in Manitoba a good portion of the year. This year he's proving that he looks like he is an NHL player. He's having a tremendous year."
Last season as a pro rookie, Hodgson scored 17 goals and 30 points for the Moose and missed a good six weeks with a broken bone in his face.
"His skating doesn't seem to be as evident as you might think it was," Noel said. "He is what he is and you can tell he's a thinker, a cerebral player. He knows what he's doing out there. You could see that when we had him with the Manitoba Moose. He can make plays. What I liked about him when he was here with us was that he had tremendous drive to succeed and he had it a lot in the offensive zone."
Hodgson played an average of 12:43 per game with the Canucks this season but his role in Buffalo is increased, close to 17 minutes per game in his first four outings.
"Vancouver has a good team," Noel said. "You've got to give him full marks. He's done real well with the amount of minutes he's had."