In his second season with Brampton, Hodgson improved to 85 points in 68 games, second in team scoring. He was chosen to the Eastern Conference squad in the 2008 OHL All-Star Classic and scored one goal. Despite five goals in five games from Hodgson in the first round of the playoffs, Brampton was eliminated once more by Barrie.
Heading into the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, he was ranked 9th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, and was chosen 10th overall by the Vancouver Canucks. Scouting reports and former coaches emphasized Hodgson's hockey sense and character, while Canucks general manager Mike Gillis cited his leadership as a strong factor in drafting him. After the 2007-08 season, OHL coaches voted him the smartest player in the Eastern Conference.
Hodgson was expected to compete for a roster spot on the Canucks immediately after being drafted, but was sent back to Brampton for the 2008–09 season. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract worth the rookie maximum of $2.625 million on October 5, 2008.
Hodgson first competed internationally for Canada at the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Hodonín, Czech Republic and Piešťany, Slovakia. Although favored to win the tournament, Canada finished in fourth place. In 2007, Hodgson also represented Ontario at the 2007 Canada Winter Games, winning gold over Manitoba 6-4 in the gold medal game.
He next represented Canada at the 2008 IIHF World U18 Championships in Kazan, Russia. Hodgson led the tournament with twelve points in seven games, leading Canada as team captain to its second U18 gold medal with an 8–0 victory over Russia.
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