It is a good thing there's more to people than first impressions. Because when it comes to those, Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson have a keen ability to completely underwhelm.
Ennis, with a slight frame, wavy long hair and baseball cap pulled low to cover his baby face, looks like a laid-back college kid who decided to take the semester off. "He's kind of like a small child," Drew Stafford said of his Buffalo Sabres teammate and road-trip roommate. "The guy doesn't really know how to clean his house yet, doesn't know how to really take care of things."
Hodgson, meanwhile, initially blends into the crowd on and off the ice. For a 22-year-old who's been gracing hockey magazine covers for years, that's not the ideal impact.
"I saw him in the summer," Sabres defenseman T.J. Brennan said, "and to be honest my first thought was like, 'This guy maybe has too much hype.' "
Once people dig deeper, admirable traits emerge.
Behind Ennis' carefree smile and whispery baritone is an intense competitor who lives for a challenge.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder has already absorbed blasts from the NHL's biggest players, and he's bounced up ready for more. "He's like a 12-year-old sometimes, but he's pretty much a hockey savant," Stafford said. "Give him a stick and a pair of skates and he's a genius."
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