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Golden Knights’ Cody Glass has dream NHL debut

The Golden Knights made center Cody Glass their first draft pick at 4:44 p.m. June 23, 2017, in Chicago.

Eight hundred and 30 days, 15 hours and three minutes later, he made his NHL debut. Fifty-two minutes after that, he scored his first goal.

Glass, the No. 6 pick that day at the United Center, one-timed a pass from left wing Max Pacioretty past San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones 2:12 into the second period Wednesday night in the Knights’ 4-1 victory at T-Mobile Arena.

It was part of a dream debut for the Winnipeg, Manitoba, native. He woke up so wired he couldn’t fall asleep for his usual pregame nap. He went to sleep with memories that will last a lifetime.

“It’s special,” said Glass, who was named the game’s first star. “You dream of it as a kid, and for it to come true like that, it’s unbelievable. It’s very emotional. When I was sitting on the bench, I just had goose bumps. The crowd was unbelievable.”

Glass, at 20 years and 184 days old, became the youngest player to score for the Knights, besting right wing Alex Tuch (21 years, 158 days).

He scored on his first shot. It seemed all too fitting after coach Gerard Gallant said Tuesday he wanted the playmaking rookie to be more “scoring hungry.”

“Unbelievable moment,” Glass’ father, Jeff, who attended the game with Cody’s older brother, Matthew, tweeted.

Glass’ goal also gave him something in common with one of his linemates. Pacioretty scored on his first shot in his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 2, 2009, off an assist from a veteran.

In his case it was from center Kyle Chipchura, whom Pacioretty jokingly said offered him this advice: Give me the puck.

Pacioretty said the opposite to Glass.

“We want him to have the puck,” Pacioretty said before the game. “He’s got the poise. He’s got the playmaking ability. The goal is for us to go get it and give it to him and then I either get open or have him make the play.”

Glass ended up being the one that got open Wednesday, creating an unforgettable moment in front of his father and brother. Jeff Glass, a postal worker, tried to give his sons as much as he could. He was there to see the fruits of his labor in person.

“Just growing up, it was very difficult for my brother and I and my dad.” said Glass, who mentioned the puck from his first goal is going “straight to my dad.”

“He pushed through everything and kept me in hockey. He kept pushing me to be a better person and player. All those emotions came to me during the game. That’s going to be a nice moment to share after this.”

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

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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