98°F
weather icon Clear

Golden Knights take time developing top prospect Cody Glass

Updated January 31, 2019 - 7:48 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. — Cody Glass positioned the crutch in front of his body and leaned forward, waiting for the rest of his Portland Winterhawks teammates to exit the locker room at venerable Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

An unidentified teammate walked past and asked whether Glass was going to the Travis Scott concert that was about to begin next door at the Moda Center.

“Nah,” Glass responded.

The previous night, the Golden Knights prospect was involved in a scary play during Portland’s Western Hockey League game against rival Seattle.

Glass slid on his right knee in an effort to control a pass through the slot and ended up with Seattle forward Tyler Carpendale riding on his back.

The additional weight caused Glass’ left leg

to collapse into a pretzel underneath his body, and his left knee catapulted forward when Carpendale freed himself from the tangle of bodies.

Glass writhed in pain and was helped off the ice, but an MRI later showed no major damage to Glass’ knee, according to Knights general manager George McPhee. He is officially listed on the WHL weekly report as day to day with a lower-body injury.

The crutch, along with the knee brace under his slacks, help explain why Glass stayed behind while several of the Winterhawks went to hear Scott perform “Sicko Mode.”

He probably would have skipped the show regardless.

“He’s a pretty mature kid for 19 years old,” said Brian Facchini, one of Glass’ host parents. “Handles himself really well, and you can tell that he’s taking this seriously as a profession, even at the major-junior level.”

In this era of instant gratification, and as the NHL grows increasingly younger — nine of the league’s top 10 scorers are age 25 or under — Glass remains in the same place he’s been for most of the past four years.

The Knights avoided the temptation to rush the No. 6 overall pick from the 2017 NHL draft, and he continues to develop at his own rate here in the Pacific Northwest.

“The one thing we’ve learned over the years is it never hurts a player to spend more time at the amateur level or the American league level,” McPhee said. “Overcooking the player never hurts that player. What does hurt a player, what can stunt development and maybe preclude a player from getting to the highest level he should be at is playing them too young.”

Age issue

The Knights didn’t have a choice in Glass’ destination this season after he was cut from training camp.

The NHL and Canadian Hockey League, which oversees the three major-junior leagues, have an agreement that prohibits 18- and 19-year-olds from playing in the AHL, forcing Glass back to Portland.

The major-junior route, which also includes the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, differs from college or professional hockey in several aspects.

For instance, Glass attended Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon, for two years starting at age 16 until graduation. And rather than being on his own, he lives with a host family, as do all his Winterhawks teammates.

Glass stayed with the same family for three years before moving in with Facchini his wife, Summer, and their two children. He is joined in the house by Sharks prospect Joachim Blichfeld and Hurricanes draft pick Brendan De Jong.

“I don’t know other programs, but they don’t have the luxury of sleeping in late and just go to practice and then, you know, go hit some golf balls and come home and put their feet up,” Facchini said. “In their last year after they’ve been drafted, I think they really are learning to manage a more adult schedule.”

Glass, who turns 20 on April 1, signed an entry-level contract with the Knights and received a signing bonus but does not get paid by the Winterhawks or WHL. He said players are reimbursed up to $250 for monthly expenses.

Unlike fellow Knights 2017 draft picks Erik Brannstrom and Nicolas Hague, who make a $70,000 salary in the American Hockey League, Glass rides a bus to all his games.

“For me, I feel like I wanted to play pro this year just because I wanted a taste of it, even if that was in the AHL, just to play against men for a year,” Glass said. “Obviously, that would prepare me for the NHL level. But, the situation how it is, I just have to come back here, and obviously I wanted to dominate. That’s just what I’ve been focusing on.”

By returning to Portland, Glass lines up against players that range in age from 15 to 20, or in some cases 21. In the Winterhawks’ 3-0 victory that Glass missed Sunday, visiting Lethbridge gave regular ice time to 15-year-old winger Zack Stringer.

But the extra season in junior also allows Glass to serve as captain for the Winterhawks and play on all special teams, which he might not do if he was playing pro.

The Knights’ meticulous development plan contrasts with a team such as Edmonton, which tried to develop 2016 No. 4 overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi at the NHL level with mixed results.

The Islanders’ Mathew Barzal, the most recent recipient of the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, is an example of a player who benefited from an additional season in junior.

“I personally believe leaving them in junior to play as a 19-year-old is positive,” said Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston, who coached the Pittsburgh Penguins for 110 games from 2014 to 2015. “If Cody gets to the NHL and he turns into a checker and loses his offensive ability, he’s not going to be as effective a player. You want him to be the 200-foot player that he is here, that can do a little bit of everything for you.”

Shot to make Knights roster

Glass’ experience playing at the World Junior Championship in December was another key step in his development, according to McPhee.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 185-pounder showed his improved strength and skating as the No. 1 center for Canada and finished with two goals and four assists in five games.

“Cody as a young guy was very light as a player, got knocked off pucks. The pace of his game was slower,” Johnston said. “But you could always see the hockey IQ there, and I think over time he’s really worked on his physical development.”

In 34 games with Portland, Glass is second in the WHL with 51 assists and has 13 goals. His 1.88 points per game leads the league, ahead of 20-year-old linemate Joachim Blichfeld (1.81).

Glass had 102 points (37 goals, 65 points) in 64 games with the Winterhawks last season.

That consistency is one of the indicators McPhee is looking for to determine whether Glass is ready for the next level.

Once the Winterhawks’ season ends, Glass is eligible to play up to nine NHL games without burning the first year of his entry-level contract. Otherwise, McPhee expects he will challenge for a roster spot in training camp next season.

“Obviously, we’ll monitor everything he’s done to date and with any player say, ‘OK what is the best place for this player?’ ” McPhee said. “You want to have the flexibility to be able to bring people up when they’re ready to come up.”

The danger at this stage is to compare Glass to his draft peers. Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson, who went one pick before Glass, is the favorite for rookie of the year.

He’s also five months older than Glass and further along in his development.

Glass understands he is on a different path, one that brought him back to Portland for another year.

“Obviously being a top-10 pick, you want to be in the NHL,” Glass said. “That’s something I really wanted going into this year, but I think you’ve just got to take your time with it. Everybody has their timetable. It’s just when it starts and when you get that opportunity, you just need to run with it.”

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Vegas Golden Knights announce preseason schedule
The Golden Knights announced their preseason schedule Tuesday, as well as the date of their rookie camp and training camp.
Mark Stone and Stanley Cup visit MGM Grand
Mark Stone took photos and signed autographs for Golden Knights fans at the MGM Grand on Sunday. The Stanley Cup also made its way into the MGM Grand Main Lobby. The most revered trophy in hockey is on display to celebrate the upcoming 2019 NHL awards at the Mandalay Bay Center on June 19th. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights, Raiders Unite for Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
Golden Knights and Raiders players alike were more than excited to join together in a charity softball game to raise money for pediatric cancer. Players from both teams cannot wait for the Raiders to arrive in Las Vegas so more joint events can take place.
Golden Knights and Raiders Raise over $100K in Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
In the first-ever Battle For Vegas Charity Softball Game, the Golden Knights and Raiders raised $136,000 for the Tyler Robinson Foundation. At the end of the nights, it was the Raiders that raised the Battle For Vegas trophy, after beating the Golden Knights 20-16. Take a look at some of the highlights from the game!
Golden Knights' Reilly Smith Ready to Battle for Vegas - Video
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith is ready to Battle For Vegas in a charity softball game that will feature various celebrity athletes, including teammates Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Reaves and Erik Haula. Smith's team will face off against former Raider Marcus Allen and his teammates, including Vontaze Burfict, Josh Jacobs and Maurice Hurst. The charity softball game is set to take place on Saturday, June 15th at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
Golden Knights Will Have a New Home in Henderson - Video
The Golden Knights are saying goodbye to the Henderson Convention Center and hello to the team's new hockey facility that will be located in the second largest city in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights and Henderson make deal on new facility - VIDEO
Henderson City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights to build and operate an indoor ice hockey facility in downtown Henderson, Tuesday evening. ( Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Kelly McCrimmon Gets Promoted to Golden Knight General Manager - Video
The Vegas Golden Knights have announced that Kelly McCrimmon has been promoted to General Manager of the team, effective September 1, 2019. Regarding his new role, McCrimmon will represent the Golden Knights at the NHL's General Managers Meetings and will be the point of contact for other league GMs.
Golden Knights Say an "Awful Call" Cost Them the Series - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault believe that an "awful call" by the officials cost them game 7.
Golden Knights Fans Watch Game 7 at T-Mobile - VIDEO
Golden Knights went through a roller coaster in game 7 which lead to the Knights loss 5-4 in overtime.
Sharks & Golden Knights fans fired up for Game 7
Ahead of Game 7 in San Jose, Sharks and Golden Knights fans get hyped for the game in the fan zone at SAP Center.
Golden Knights prepare for Game 7 in San Jose - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knigths players and the head coach talk about their mindset ahead of facing the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 on the road at the SAP Center.
Knights' Gallant Calls DeBoer a "clown" - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant calls Sharks coach Pete DeBoer a "clown" and says his comments are a little "unclassy" for him in response to being called the master chirper for the Knights.
Golden Knights fans father outside T-Mobile Arena waiting for game 6 against the Sharks
Golden Knights gather outside the T-Mobile Arena ready to watch game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the San Jose Sharks.
Knights aim to close out Sharks series at home - VIDEO
The Vegas Golden Knights players and head coach Gerard Gallant spoke about what needs to be done ahead of Game 6 at the T-Mobile Arena to clinch the series. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant talks ahead of Game 6
The Golden Knights coach talked about his team’s upcoming game with the San Jose Sharks after Saturday’s practice.
Coach Gallant Speaks to media about game 5 against the Sharks - VIDEO
Golden Knight's coach Gerard Gallant speaks at City National Arena following thursday's game 5 against the San Jose Sharks.
Golden Knights Fans Watch Game 5 At Henderson Pavilion - Video
Golden Knights fans gather at the Henderson Pavilion to watch game 5 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the San Jose Sharks. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fans prepare for Game 5 of the Golden Knights-Sharks series
Golden Knights and Sharks fans took part in pregame festivities at the SAP Center in San Jose ahead of Game 5 of the playoff series.
Golden Knights Fans Land in San Jose - VIDEO
Four Golden Knights fans who traveled from Las Vegas talk about the experiences they've had in San Jose with fans and the police ahead of Game 5 and give their predictions for the final score of the game.
Shea Theodore says he's trying to be a threat in all phases - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knights Defenseman Shea Theodore says he's trying to elevate his game in all phases and his teammate Alex Tuch talks about Theodore's growth as a player.
Knights preparing to play a "desperate" Sharks team on the road
The Vegas Golden Knights could close out their first playoff series on the road against the San Jose Sharks when Game 5 takes place at the SAP Center. The team says they're going to have to play their best to defeat a "desperate" opponent.
Coach Gallant speaks after practice, as the Golden Knights prep for Game 5
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant speaks to media after the team's open skate.
Sharks Coach: I think our emotions got away from us a little bit
Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer and center Joe Pavelski say the team needs to hold their emotions in check going forward. Pavelski talks about the Ryan Reaves effect.
2019 NHL Awards set for Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 19
During the 2018 NHL Awards in Las Vegas, tribute was paid to first responders and survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting by a handful of Vegas Golden Knights. NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer said that's why the league is moving the show to the site of the tragedy. The Mandalay Bay Events Center will host the ceremony on June 19th.
Ryan Reaves says Joe Thornton's Hit was "Gutless" - Video
Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves says Sharks' forward Joe Thornton's hit on Tomas Nosek was "gutless." Thornton has been suspended for one game (game four on Tues., April 16) as a result of the hit.
Ryan Reaves Finally Throws Down with San Jose's Evander Kane - Video
Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves says the fight between him and Sharks' forward Evander Kane was nine years in the making. Spectators finally saw the two battle it out in game three of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Ryan Reaves Finally Throws Down with San Jose's Evander Kane - Video
Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves says the fight between him and Sharks' forward Evander Kane was nine years in the making. Spectators finally saw the two battle it out in game three of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Golden Knights rookie team coach Rocky Thompson on Rookie Faceoff
Golden Knights rookie team coach Rocky Thompson discusses team's 7-6 win over Colorado in the Vegas Rookie Faceoff
Fleury's newborn son attends Game 3 - VIDEO
Marc-Andre Fleury's newborn son and his wife Veronique were in attendance at the T-Mobile Arena during game 3. Fleury talks about having his family there to support him.
Sharks and Knights players get physical during game 3 - VIDEO
Several fights broke out during game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Golden Knights and Sharks. Capping off the skirmishes was an intense showdown between Ryan Reaves and Evander Kane.
Golden Knights Fans Gather At T-mobile To Watch Game 3 Of The Playoffs - Video
Golden Knights fans gather outside of the T-Mobile arena to watch game three of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Knights GM says it was important for the team to sign Nikita Gusev
Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee says it was important for the team to sign Russian standout Nikita Gusev. The Knights announced they had signed the forward to a one-year, entry level contract on Sunday. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marc-André Fleury on flamingo
Marc-André Fleury on flamingo
Golden Knights Watch Party For Game 2 Of Sharks Series - Video
Golden Knights fans gather at Top Golf to watch the second game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the San Jose Sharks.
Gallant addresses the media after practice following a 5-2 loss
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant addresses the media after practice following a 5-2 loss to San Jose in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on lineup
Golden Knights Fans Gather Downtown For First Round of Playoffs - Video
Golden Knights fans gather downtown to watch the first game of the playoff series against the San Jose Sharks.
Golden Edge Mailbag - April 10, 2019 - VIDEO
Golden Knights reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer your burning questions.
Gallant on Golden Knights lineup against Sharks
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on lineup against the San Jose Sharks for Game 1 of the first round in the Stanley Cup playoffs. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on losing to the Avalanche
Gerard Gallant talks about the loss to Colorado. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Colorado loss
Gerard Gallant talks about the loss to Colorado. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on Paul Stastny
Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about Paul Stastny's role on the team. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on St. Louis goal
Gerard Gallant talks about St. Louis's third goal on March 25, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on St. Louis Blues
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's loss to St. Louis on March 25, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Erik Karlsson re-signs with Sharks for 8 years

The San Jose Sharks re-signed pending free agent Erik Karlsson to a $92 million, eight-year deal on Monday, turning a one-year rental into a long-term commitment to one of the league’s most dynamic defensemen.