CHICAGO – No matter how Cody Glass’s NHL career plays out, he’ll be forever known as the answer to a Vegas sports trivia question.
The Vegas Golden Knights used the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, their first-ever selection, on Glass, a 6-foot-2 forward from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.
“It’s an honor and I think they believe in me a lot,” he said. “That’s something that I appreciate. For me, I just want to really prove them right with their pick.”
When Glass heads to development camp next week it won’t serve as his first trip to Vegas. When he was 10, his youth team played in a tournament in Sin City. This was around 2009, many years before the idea of an NHL team in the city was close to reality. While his team finished second, it was the bright lights of the strip that’s stuck with him to this day.
“Don’t get too much of that in Winnipeg,” he joked.
Glass spent Wednesday night watching the expansion draft knowing the possibility that he could be joining the names announced by owner Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee. Despite the Golden Knights being a new team in the league, there’s no concern about a bumpy beginning for the franchise.
“I think Vegas holds a lot of opportunity,” said Glass, who notes he patterns his game after Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele. “I know they’re going to be a great team in the future. I’m just really looking forward to getting started.”
It may be some time before Glass actually gets his chance to help improve the Golden Knights franchise. But taking a glance at his numbers with Portland this season (32-62—94, 69 GP), and there’s plenty for McPhee and head coach Gerard Gallant to look forward to down the line.
Soon, the hype of being Vegas’ first ever draft pick will die down and it’ll then be time for Glass to get to work.
“I think there’s a lot pressure to it, but then again, I know what I can do on the ice,” he said. “They believe in me, so I’m just going to prove them right. It’s going to be really awesome getting started in Vegas.”
Glass was cut from Canada’s Ivan Hlinka roster last August, and long after his grandmother passed away. It wasn’t an easy time for him, but the snub served as fuel during his outstanding junior season.
“I think that’s what made me have such a great start to the season,” he said. “I think just wanting to prove people wrong was a big thing. I just wanted to be more consistent throughout the year and I think that’s what I did.”
Glass sat in disbelief while meeting the media inside United Center after the pick. Two days ago he was watching the expansion draft as Vegas began forming its roster. Now he was wearing a Golden Knights’ hat and jersey as the newest member of the franchise.
“It’s kind of unbelievable. Sorry, words can’t describe how I feel right now,” he said. “One day I know I’m going to put on this jersey. It’s just unbelievable.”
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