Golden Knights’ Cody Glass Poised for Breakout in 2020-21

Cody Glass was selected sixth overall by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He has spent some time in the NHL, but the young player was limited due to the depth of the Vegas roster. He was given an opportunity with the higher-end players, but ultimately it was not his time to receive a full-time roster spot. However, with the Golden Knights trading Paul Statsny to the Winnipeg Jets in a salary dump, it seems Glass will have an everyday role with the team for the 2020-21 season.

Wing or Center

Glass is unique because he can play down the middle or on the wing. This allows him to be used on any line. It is looking like he will end up centering either the second or third line depending on where head coach Peter DeBoer will put Chandler Stephenson. With that being said, there is also a chance that he could be paired with Alex Tuch on the third line to create a high-scoring, explosive duo lower in the lineup. This possibility comes from the emergence of Nicolas Roy and his stand out play during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Cody Glass Golden Vegas Knights
Cody Glass looking to get the puck (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If Glass were to center the second line, he would be paired with Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault. This duo was partially responsible for the meteoric rise of William Karlsson, and the Golden Knights should be optimistic that the stars could re-align for Glass. With both players already having great chemistry with one another, Glass could easily fit in and produce at a high rate.

Cody Glass Golden Vegas Knights
Cody Glass getting ready for a faceoff (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There is also the possibility that he could end up on the wing. If this were to happen, it would be on the third line with Tuch. This would create an interesting dynamic between Roy, Tuch and Glass. The line would possess speed, strength, skill and scoring ability. By having this trio, it would allow DeBoer another option late in games when the Golden Knights need a goal. Glass would be the perfect complement to both the size and strength of Tuch and Roy as he would be able to benefit from the space that they create.

Dynamic Playmaker

When he first came up the NHL, Glass was thrown right into the fire. He was put on the power play and seemed to fit in naturally as he recorded seven power play points. Being more of a distributor, he adds another piece to the ever-dangerous Vegas power play. This should not surprise people as when he was in juniors, Glass recorded 292 points in 239 games with the Portland Winterhawks. 

Vegas Golden Knights Jon Merrill Cody Glass
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Jon Merrill congratulates center Cody Glass (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Glass will take on the role of playmaker and creator no matter which line he plays on. Throughout his junior and professional career, he seems to have double the amount of assists than goals. This will make him an immediate threat once he is put into the lineup. Having success at all levels of the game will also give him the confidence to take the next step in his development and become a top-tier player on the Golden Knights.

He has already proven that he can play against grown men as he was able to produce at just under a point per game in his short time in the AHL. This point was then furthered as he managed to produce 12 points for the Golden Knights during his 39 games with the club in the 2019-20 season. 

Areas of Improvement

Glass has the talent and the speed to have a successful NHL career, but there are two areas of his game that could use some improvement. First is his face-off percentage. When on the Golden Knights, he only managed to win 41.96% of his faceoffs. If he wants to fill into the hole left by Statsny on the second line, he will need to be better on the draws. This could be helped by the second area of improvement, his strength.

Cody Glass takes a face-ff against Jaret Anderson-Dolan
Glass ties up the opposing center (Dayna Fjord/Portland Winterhawks)

Glass is currently listed at 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds. This makes him the smallest listed center on the Vegas roster. If he were to put on some extra muscle during the offseason, it would significantly help not only his faceoff percentage, but could help him exceed in puck battles and holding onto the puck when an opposing player is pressuring him.

All in all, Glass has everything he needs to make a big impact on the Golden Knights next season. The former first-round draft pick should be poised to take the next step in his career and be the breakout star in Vegas. It does not matter if he plays wing or center because he has a dynamic skill set that will allow him to succeed at whatever position DeBoer puts him at.