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Historic Draft Officially Welcomes NHL's 31st Team

By Marshall Mackinder on June 28, 2017

Portland Winterhawks centre Cody Glass made history on Friday evening by being the very first NHL Draft pick of the NHL's 31st franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights who selected Glass 6th overall. (Photo by Matthew Mackinder)     

The Western Hockey League led the way with seven first round selections on Friday night led by Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings going 2nd overall to the Philadelphia Flyers. And while the debate continued about whether it would be Patrick or Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads going first overall to the New Jersey Devils, the real history would be made at the 6th overall spot where the Vegas Golden Knights would be making their very first draft selection in franchise history.

When Vegas General Manager walked up to the podium to make the selection, he took in the moment and spoke very clearly and was pleased to announce the name of Portland Winterhawks Centre Cody Glass as the Golden Knights very first NHL Draft selection.

Glass, a Winnipeg native, is a competitor and finished among the league leaders in the WHL in points with 32 goals and 94 points. He was the most productive CHL forward in his draft class playing at even strength as 77 of his 94 points were scored playing five on five.

When asked if he had ever been to Vegas, Glass acknowledged that he had been in Vegas for a tournament when he was 10 years old. 

"It was a summer hockey tournament, but pretty much in Vegas it's always summer. I was playing for the Junior Steelers and I think we came in second so pretty disappointed in the outcome but I'm looking forward to many more games in Vegas, Glass said. 

Glass was a riser all season in many scouting publications but settled into the top 10 with ISS who had him pegged correctly at #6. When asked about his consistent play all season, Glass acknowledged his ranking at the start of the season (out of first round) gave him a spark that lasted all season.

"I think that's what made me have such a great start to the season. I think just wanting to prove people wrong was a big thing and I just wanted to be consistent throughout the year and I think that's exactly what I did," Glass said.

Vegas was rumoured to be attempting to trade up into the top spot to take Nolan Patrick, but that fizzled out and the first draft went in order of selection following the trades made later after expansion draft. Patrick was coached by Vegas Assistant General Manager Kelly McCrimmon in Brandon for three full seasons. However, McCrimmon also played a big part in selecting Glass as he had seen him play the last few seasons in the WHL. 

"My interview went really well with them and I thought they showed a lot of interest. I was very appreciative of that and they're very outgoing people and made it easy for me to feel more comfortable in the meeting. They were just very nice and gave me lots of compliments. It was mostly McCrimmon who did most of the talking so that was nice," Glass added.

The Vegas jersey is a hot commodity right now and has the thumbs up from Glass. 

"It's unbelievable. I think it's one of the top jerseys in the league easily, and I got to see it during the expansion draft, so that was amazing, I like it a lot," Glass said.

Vegas wrapped up a very busy week on Saturday by looking at a roster of players that are now in their control after the expansion draft last Wednesday and the draft concluding on Saturday where they selected an NHL-high 12 players. Next up will be the free agent signing period beginning on July 1st to add to their roster.

As for Glass, he is looking forward to get to training camp. 

"Training Camp will be huge for me. I'm a big person who watches hockey a lot, so I always try and mimic what others are doing, especially Mark Scheifele who plays for Winnipeg, but mostly for me, just on and off ice training is something I need to work on and I'm always trying to get better," Glass said.

VEGAS NHL DRAFT PICKS

1st Round       (6th overall) - Cody Glass - Portland Winterhawks, WHL

                        (13th overall) - Nick Suzuki - Owen Sound Attack, OHL

                        (15th overall) - Erick Brannstrom - HV71, SweJE

2nd round        (34th overall) - Nicholas Hague - Mississauga Steelheads, OHL

                        (62nd overall) - Jake Leschyshyn - Regina Pats, WHL

3rd Round       (65th overall) - Jonas Rondbjerg - Vaxjo, SweJE

4th Round       (96th overall) - Maksim Zhukov - Green Bay Gamblers, USHL

5th Round       (127th overall) - Lukas Elvenes - Rogle BK, SweJE

                        (142nd overall) - Jonathan Dugan - Northwood School Junior, MNHS

6th Round       (158th overall) - Nick Campoli - North York Rangers, OJHL

                        (161st overall) - Jiri Patera - HC Ceske Budejovice

7th Round       (189th overall) - Ben Jones - Niagara IceDogs, OHL

Scouting Report on CODY GLASS:
He has a ton of upside up the middle at centre and can also play the wing. His speed can burn any defender on the outside or down the middle. A very high intelligence on the ice of knowing the game. He is good in the faceoff circle and does a good job of finding open space and getting the puck to the net. He knows where the puck is going to be rather than where it is. Plays a complete 200-foot game and distributes the puck well. Does a good job protecting the puck with a defenceman all over him in the offensive zone. Has quick hands and a deceptive release that surprises goalies. Tough to knock off the puck and can make plays and finish plays.

Comparable to Winnipeg Jets centreman Mark Scheifele and projects as a top line centre, two-way forward who can contribute a responsible and complete 200-foot game and a key penalty killer.

ISS final ranking on Glass was #6 and he was drafted #6 to Vegas Golden Knights.

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By Marshall Mackinder| June 28, 2017
Categories:  Major Junior|Events

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