Cody Glass was given new freedom under the tutelage of Mike Johnston.
And under the watchful eye of the Portland Winterhawks’ head coach and general manager, Glass thrived, setting himself up to hear his name called early at the 2017 NHL Draft.
“Our team got a lot of opportunity with Mike Johnston coming back,” Glass said. “He’s a really good coach and knows how to develop his players really well.
“The opportunity he gave me – I played first line, power play, penalty kill – with the more ice time I got, confidence is a huge thing with me. He pretty much let me do what I wanted in the offensive zone and in the ‘D’ zone he made me do my job. He was a huge help with the season I had and I couldn’t thank him enough.”
Ranked sixth among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting heading into Friday’s opening round of the 2017 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-2, 179-pound centre enjoyed a standout season in Portland, registering 32 goals and 62 assists, good enough for 94 points, tying him for seventh among all WHL skaters.
After being selected 19th overall in the first round of the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft, the product of Winnipeg broke into the WHL with a 27-point campaign during the 2015-16 season. His explosive improvement in 2016-17 caught the eyes of scouts, Hockey Canada brass and more.
While Glass and the Winterhawks were eliminated in the second round of the 2017 WHL Playoffs, as a wildcard seed, they managed to knock off the B.C. Division-champion Prince George Cougars during first-round play. After exiting the WHL dance, Glass was called upon to represent his country at the 2017 IIHF World U18 Hockey Championship in Slovakia. Again, though Canada bowed out of the tournament in the quarter-finals, the chance to wear his nation’s coolours served Glass with another quality opportunity to further develop his skillset and showcase his talent, having produced two goals and three points in three games after being a late addition.
“It was a really good experience to see where Team Canada stands,” Glass said. “For me, right after [the Winterhawks] lost out and getting the chance to play for Team Canada, it was a really great honour and it’s something I will always accept going forward. I really love putting on that jersey.
“Learning about the hockey and the culture that goes into it, and, obviously, we were playing in Slovakia, which was a different atmosphere for me. It was a really great experience.”
In addition to his performance at the 2017 IIHF World U18 Championship, Glass was then invited to Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase – an opportunity for him to play his hand at earning a spot on Canada’s roster for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
With the 2017 NHL Draft around the corner, Glass has done everything in his power to send a strong message to pro clubs when it comes to what he brings to the table and his Central Scouting rank speaks to that. Touted for his speed, playmaking ability and overall vision, don’t be surprised if you hear the hard-working forwards name called early Friday night.
“I like to say I’m a two-way playmaker,” Glass said. “For me, my greatest attribute is my passing ability and just creating space and finding space for my teammates – that’s another huge thing for me. One thing I’ve worked on over the past year with Mike Johnston is my two-way game and that’s something I really take pride in – playing at both ends of the ice.
“To get to the next level, you have to be a lot stronger and a lot faster. That’s something I’ve been really working on over the past year and it’s something I really enjoy [working on] as well.”
Glass is eagerly anticipating the draft, set to attend with his brother, father, billet family and other extended family.
“I’ve worked my butt off to get to where I am,” Glass said. “Now that’s paying off. It’s something I’m really looking forward to, especially having my family there. They’ve been through a lot with me and with hockey. We’re a really tight group. I’m really looking forward to that day and putting a smile on their faces.”
Cody Glass – Centre
Weight: 179 pounds
Hometown: Winnipeg, Man.
Acquired: Round 1, 19th overall – 2014 WHL Bantam Draft
2016-17: 69 GP, 32G-62A – 92 points
2015-16: 65 GP, 10G-17A – 27 points
2014-15: 3 GP, 0G-0A – 0 points
The 2017 NHL Draft takes place June 23 to 24 in Chicago, Illinois, with coverage provided by Sportsnet beginning at 4:30 p.m. MT.