The Winnipeg Jets returned to the NHL for the 2011-12 season. There to witness their comeback was a 12-year-old named Cody Glass.
The Golden Knights rookie said his entire family was excited when professional hockey returned to his hometown for the first time in his lifetime. The original Jets relocated after the 1995-96 season — three years before Glass was born — to become the Arizona Coyotes. The Atlanta Thrashers were moved to Winnipeg in 2011.
Now, Glass gets to face his childhood team for the first time at 7 p.m. Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.
“My family and I were huge fans of the Jets when they came back,” Glass said. “It’ll be nice to play against them. My dad is going to have some trouble trying to cheer for either team, but it’ll be good. I’m going to have a lot of fun.”
Glass, 20, said he set his allegiances aside when the Knights selected him with the sixth pick in the 2017 draft. He’ll still be in line for some ribbing from family members and said “a lot” of them will attend Saturday’s game.
Those who show up will get to see just how much the forward has grown in his first 14 NHL games. Glass has three goals and four assists. His seven points ranked fifth among rookies entering Friday’s games despite playing at right wing most of the season instead of his natural center position.
“I think Cody knows he’s an NHL player now,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “The biggest thing is for those young kids, when they come in and they play some games and they have success, their confidence level. So his confidence is good. He looks like a dangerous player every time he’s on the ice.”
Sparks called up
The Knights recalled goaltender Garret Sparks from the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves on “an emergency basis.” The team did not specify what the emergency was.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who has played in 13 of the Knights’ 14 games, didn’t practice Friday. Gallant said Fleury was given a maintenance day.
Goaltender Malcolm Subban practiced Friday. He hasn’t played since sustaining a lower-body injury Oct. 10. He dressed for the first time since the injury Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens at T-Mobile and was Fleury’s backup.
Max Pacioretty picked up his 500th point Thursday in his 706th game. He has a 250 goal-250 assist split for his career.
But he wasn’t in the mood to celebrate after his former team beat the Knights 5-4 in overtime. Pacioretty was on the ice for the game-winning goal.
“It felt great at the time and then I didn’t think about it after we lost,” Pacioretty said. “I guess milestones are cool and all and at the end of the day you can appreciate it down the road, but I was kind of upset after the game.”
Knights prospect Lucas Elvenes was named the AHL’s rookie of the month for October on Friday. Elvenes, a 20-year-old Swedish right wing, led the AHL in points (15) and assists (11) after his first month of North American professional hockey.
NHL rookie points
1. Victor Olofsson, LW, Sabres — 10 (six goals, four assists)
2. Ilya Mikheyev, LW, Maple Leafs — 10 (four goals, six assists)
3. Quinn Hughes, D, Canucks — 10 (one goal, nine assists)
4. Cale Makar, D, Avalanche — 10 (one goal, nine assists)
5. Cody Glass, C/RW, Golden Knights — 7 (three goals, four assists)