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Nation Network 2017 Prospect Profile: #3 – Cody Glass

Winnipeg native Cody Glass can do it all. He’s a smart, playmaking centre, he can score goals, he’s an excellent skater, and he plays a physical puck possession game. He’s one of the more complete players in this draft class, which is all the more impressive consideration that he was hardly on the radar at the beginning of they year.

Glass was a late riser this year. As one of the most improved players in the CHL over the course of the season, Glass has bowled his way into the first round round, the top ten, and the top five. We now have Cody Glass as the third best available prospect, and feel quite confident about that decision.

Bio

  • Age: 18 – April 1st, 1999
  • Birthplace: Winnipeg, MB, CAN
  • Frame: 6’2″ / 178 lbs
  • Position: Centre
  • Handedness: Right
  • Draft Year Team: Portland Winterhawks
  • Accomplishments/Awards: WHL (West) First All-Star Team (16/17)

Stats

Career

2016-17 Season

Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)

Cohort Based (pGPS)

Scouts

From Future Considerations:

A strong positional player who plays well on both sides of the puck…although his foot speed is pretty good for a guy his size, first step accelerate could improve…not overly flashy offensively but effective due to smarts and excellent senses…an excellent puck mover, he finds teammates with ease and is a huge possession asset…has the confidence and protection skills to rag the puck until he finds an open teammate…execution of passes is excellent and he is especially skilled at changing angles with his hands to create passing lanes…has a knack for dictating the pace and slowing the game down when he’s on the ice…plays a gritty game and uses his body and quickness to create space…strength in a two way game and displays a big active disruptive stick in the defensive zone…supports his defensemen down low and ties up his check in front of the net…not a brute physically but uses his size effectively…shows great compete to get quick on pucks and make decisive plays…a projected top-six character center with offensive upside.

From the Hockey Prospect Black Book (Excerpt from publication):

Glass is extremely effective at taking away pucks and plays a sneaky good defensive game, utilizing his long reach and deceptively quick feet. He has a knack for causing breakdowns in opponent’s offense and is a pest on the fore-check. Cody shows really good back pressure on puck carriers where he can isolate the stick and frustrate even some of the top-end offensive players in the WHL. Cody Glass is a true puck carrier that uses a variety of wrist moves and stick handling positions without being overly flashy, the puck flows from his stick through his upper body and arms, his movements are efficient, calculated, while making good use of small spaces. This coupled with his strong defense are a testament to his strong hockey IQ; he thinks the game at a very mature level.

From Corey Pronman of ESPN (Excerpt only – full article behind pay wall):

He’s a dynamic playmaker, who has the skill, size and IQ to be a significant scorer in the NHL. Glass’ puck skills are very good, with the IQ and skill combo to create scoring chances out of nothing. He’s very coordinated with the puck for a player his size, and he makes tough dekes seem easy. He’s a smart playmaker who can make plays at a quick tempo and control the center third of the ice. Defensively, he is decent. His frame needs to bulk up a ton, as he can be pushed off pucks too easily, but he works hard for pucks and has the IQ to be useful in his own end.

From Kevin Olexson of McKeen’s Hockey (Excerpt only – full article behind pay wall):

Cody Glass has evolved in to a very good two-way center with an impressive skill set that plays strong in both ends of the ice. He is a complete player that has good size and who works hard to keep improving his game. He does so many little things around the ice, and is very responsible in his play. He is able to find open spots around the net and get himself open in good scoring areas. He is the type of player that improves and raises the play of those around him, and has a great attitude. Glass looks like a solid fit for a second line center at the highest stage.  He needs to work on his skating to help him shift gears quicker and hit his top speed faster. Aside from that he needs to put on some more weight and fill out to help him build up strength, muscle and confidence in his physical play and use of his size. Based on how much his game has improved over the past 12 months, he is a good bet to go in the top half of the first round this year.

From The Draft Analyst:

Terrific 200-foot pivot with strong hockey sense who finished with a team-best 62 assists and 94 points while centering their top line, anchoring the first power play unit and killing penalties. Glass was a preseason snub for Team Canada’s Ivan Hlinka squad, and hindsight says it was a poor decision as Canada’s streak of eight straight titles ended without as much as a medal. You have to figure the cut chapped Glass, who in 2017 played like a youngster possessed, ranking second among all CHL first-year eligibles in assists (62) and third in both primary assists (38) and points (94).

While his straight-line speed and first-step quickness are both solid, Glass also displays excellent footwork and balance, and is a hustler with a nonstop motor who will get in on the forecheck or pressure the heck out of power play point men. His transition game is outstanding, but a lot of it has to do with acute hockey sense and making the right reads, especially in the neutral zone. Glass is a lethal playmaker with keen vision, relying on instincts and soft hands to either hit linemates in stride or thread the needle from across the ice. His puck poise is off the charts, especially on the power play. But a hard shot with a quick release, plus a penchant for shooting accurately off the pass, makes him difficult to wargame. You don’t know what he’s going to do next, and this sort of indecision-inducing style has posterized many a WHL opponent. Far from a perimeter player, Glass can play physical and goes into dirty areas, albeit with varying levels of success.

Our Take

What a year it has been for Cody Glass. Much has been made of the fact that he got cut from Canada’s Ivan Hlinka camp last fall, and whether that served as motivation for him. Apparently it did, as Glass admitted as much to The Dub Network back in November. Already at this point, he was looking like a substantially improved player. Five months after that, he was air lifted into Slovakia as a highly anticipated reinforcement for Team Canada at the World Under-18’s. And he didn’t disappoint, often looking like Canada’s best and most skilled player.

Glass has all the attributes that team’s look for in a top six centre. He’s a tremendous distributor of the puck, playing a very cerebral 200-foot game. But he can also score goals at the drop of a hat, doing so 32 times this season for a middling Portland Winterhawks squad, adding another four in the playoffs. He’s been compared to a variety of other players whose draft stock skyrocketed over the course of their draft season, including former Winterhawk Ryan Johansen, and Winnipeg Jet Mark Scheifele.

“In his draft year, he reminds me a lot of Mark Scheifele in terms of the way he just got better and better with more confidence,” TSN’s Craig Button told TSN 1040. “I think Cody Glass can end up tracking at that same level.”

Glass is setting his sights even higher than that, noting that Sidney Crosby is a player that he spends a lot of time watching and modeling parts of his game after – specifically how he can use his backhand as a weapon, one of Crosby’s specialties. Glass has a bit of an inside track in that regard, given that his coach in Portland his Mike Johnston, who coached Crosby in Pittsburgh for a season and a half between 2014-15 and 2015-16.

“His reads are very good and his hockey IQ is high,” Johnston said. “He’s our No. 1 centre, plays on our power play and just started killing penalties. He’s playing a lot of minutes.”

Then question then becomes, can he be a first line centre at the NHL level? Asked if Glass has enough offensive upside to be a top line forward in the NHL, TSN’s Craig Button responded empatically: “Absolutely. I’ll be straightforward: I don’t think there’s a big difference between Hischier and Patrick and Cody Glass.”

While both Patrick and Hischier had Glass beat in standard points per game, Glass tops them in SEAL adjusted scoring. This is a whole lot to do with the fact that Glass dominated the WHL at even strength this season. In fact, he leads all first-time eligible players in 5-on-5 points.

Adding to the impressiveness of this feat is that Glass accomplished this without any high end help. Not that Patrick’s Wheat Kings or Hischier’s Mooseheads were particularly strong either, but Patrick did at least have Stelio Mattheos as his wingman, who will likely go in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft. Hischier was paired with Maxime Fortier, a winger who was mysteriously undrafted last June and should be one of the first overagers to go this year.

Portland, on the other hand, has no other impressive forward prospects for this year’s draft. Ryan Hughes should go in the middle rounds, but he plays the same position as Glass and thus they didn’t share much ice together. The highest drafted player on the team is Keegan Iverson, one of Glass’s frequent wingers, who was taken in the 3rd round (85th overall) by the Rangers in 2014. Glass’ other most common linemate, Skyler McKenzie, is in his draft-plus-one season and could be picked as an overager. Of course, he should be thanking Glass for making him look so good.

The Winterhawks as a whole were credited with just over half the goals scored at 5-on-5 (51.4%), and Glass was a huge part of that. He supported everyone of his teammates. Without him, their Goals-For percentages at 5-on-5 often sunk as low as 40%. With him, they burst up over 60%. That is a massive swing, leaving him with a GF%rel of 17.2, one of the best among eligible draft prospects.

Cody Glass’s ascension this season has been well deserved. He has a ton of offensive upside, is highly intelligent and mature, and has very few weaknesses to his game. While many things can happen at the draft, Glass should not escape the top five. For my money, he’s the most complete player available aside from Nolan Patrick, and following from that, I don’t think he’ll stay on the board very long after Patrick goes.

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#56 LUKAS ELVENES #57 JAKE LESCHYSHYN #58 FABIAN ZATTERLUND
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