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July 14, 2013

Ken Hodge, Jr.

Ken Hodge Jr.'s biggest claim to fame remains the fact that he is the son of former Boston Bruin superstar, Ken Hodge Sr.

Ken Hodge was drafted by Minnesota, with their 2nd pick, 46th overall in the 1984 Amateur Draft after a fine Collegiate career at Boston College. He seemed to have troubles living up to the responsibility of the family name. As a result Hodge Jr. failed to impress in three seasons with the Minnesota organization. Ken was obtained by the Boston Bruins in exchange for Boston's 2nd pick in the 1992 Amateur Draft on August 21, 1990. The Stars faired alright in this trade as they used the pick to draft Jere Lehtinen.

The Bruins acquired their former star's namesake with the idea that at worst he'd be a marketing ploy at the minor league level. But after a quick start to the 90-91 season with the Maine Mariners of the American Hockey League, Ken was called up to Boston. Kenny turned in a fine rookie campaign, earning a spot on the All-Rookie Team. Playing on a line with Cam Neely he scored 30 goals and 29 assists, providing much needed offense to the Bruin's lineup.

Ken however struggled to regain his offensive form in his rookie season and on September 4, 1992 he was dispatched to Tampa Bay along Matt Harvey in exchange for tough guy Darren Kimble. Hodge Jr.'s boss in Tampa was Phil Esposito, Hodge Sr.'s old running mate.

Hodge was an excellent face-off man, often called upon to take key defensive zone face-offs. At 6'1" and 200lbs, Junior didn't fully utilize his size to its fullest advantage, much like his father. An average skater at best at the NHL level, Hodge wasn't quite skilled enough to be a scorer, nor physical enough to be a banger.

In 142 games he scored 39 goals, 48 assists for 87 career points with the Stars, Bruins and Lightning. He would finish his career in Britain, where his father was born.

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