Finished 2nd on Phantoms in Goals and Made NHL Debut in 2021-22
August 29, 2022
Lehigh Valley, PA – The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that they have re-signed forward Hayden Hodgson to a two-year, two-way/one-way contract, according to President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, Chuck Fletcher. Hodgson was the last of the remaining restricted free agents for the Flyers who last Friday had signed Wade Allison and Linus Högberg.
Hodgson, 26, was one of the great feel-good stories of the 2021-22 season. Beginning the season on an ECHL contract with Reading and not having played in the AHL since the 2017-18 season, Hodgson impressed during training camp and won a spot on Ian Laperrière’s team as well as an AHL contract. Laperriere’s hunch about the relatively unknown newcomer was correct as Hodgsonwas second on the Phantoms with 19 goals and was fourth on the team in points with 31.
In fact, he was so good that he eventually earned his first NHL contract late in the season and that led to his NHL debut on March 24 at St. Louis where he recorded his first NHL goal and added an assist as part of a magical two-point night. He played six games for the Flyers last year scoring one goal with two assists.
As Hodgson found his groove and gained confidence, he was relied upon more and more by coach Laperrière in key situations. The first of his four multi-goal games was part of a tremendous four-point effort in a monumental comeback at the Utica Comets on New Year’s Eve. After trailing the top team in the league by scored of 4-0 and 5-1, Hodgson sparked the incredible rally. His goal in the opening minute of the third period made the score 5-3. Later, he was used in an extra-attacker role in the closing seconds when his powerful blast from the left dot off a cross-ice feed by Cal O’Reilly with just 36 seconds left tied the game at 5-5 and forced overtime. Hodgson then anticipated and rushed up during the 3-on-3 session to steal the puck in the Comets’ zone setting up O’Reilly for the game-winner.
The 2021-22 season represented an amazing stretch for the hard-working and powerful forward who went from an ECHL contract to an AHL contract to an NHL deal all in the same season. Hodgson had not even played in the American Hockey League since a 41-game stint with the Cleveland Monsters in 2017-18 where he had three goals and three assists. He has spent most of his career in the ECHL with six different teams all across the United States seeing stints with the Reading Royals, Utah Grizzlies, Wheeling Nailers, Wichita Thunder, Florida Everblades and Manchester Monarchs. He has scored 22 goals with 22 assists in 98 career games in the ECHL.
The fifth-year pro has played in a career total of 191 games at the professional level across the NHL, AHL and ECHL combined scoring 45 goals with 39 assists for 84 points. His 19 goals last year was a personal career-high in pro hockey and was the second time he has scored in double digits in a season along with his 12-goal campaign for Reading in 2019-20.
A 6-2 winger from Windsor, Ontario, Hodgson previously played five seasons of Major Juniors in the Ontario Hockey League with the Erie Otters, Sarnia Sting and Sagniaw Spirit in a 294-game career scoring 87 goals with 70 assists for 157 points.
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