Name: Cody Glass
Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Stats: 69 GP, 32 goals, 62 assists, 94 points, 36 PIMs, +31 plus-minus rating
NHL Central Scouting Ranking: 6th (North American Skaters)
NHL Comparable Player: Mark Scheifele / Ryan Johansen
Some top hockey prospects stand out because of certain attributes that they possess that are elite in comparison to their peers. Players that possess the quickest skating, players that possess the hardest shot, and so on.
Other prospects, however, stand out not because they’re the best at just one thing, but because they can do a little bit of everything at a very, very high level. This is precisely the case for Portland Winterhawks center Cody Glass.
Glass is coming off of an outstanding year with the Winterhawks, where he picked up 94 points in 69 games, tying him for 7th among all WHL players despite being just 17 years old for almost all of the season. As Portland’s number one center, he was the engine that drove his team’s offense.
What makes Glass so successful is his versatility. He’s tall, at roughly 6’2”, and has a long skating stride. His feet don’t move particularly quickly and he lacks explosiveness, but his stride allows him to reach a high top speed, fast enough to gain separation from opposing players. He’s a lanky prospect that still needs to add a lot of muscle and fill out, but he’s strong on his skates when it comes to board battles and jostling for position in open ice, utilizing a wide base. Because of this combination of size and skating, he is able to thrive both on the rush or in the cycle, and especially on the powerplay for the latter.
His puck possession and puck distribution abilities are excellent. He keeps his head up, reading the play around him, and has a very solid understanding of how to find gaps in defensive coverage, whether for himself to open up to receive a pass or a rebound, or to thread a pass to an open teammate. He maturely uses his body and a long stick to keep the puck shielded away from defenders, and can pass it with accuracy and velocity. He’s not the type of player that can stickhandle in a phone booth, but he can apply a soft touch with the puck when he needs to.
The one area that Glass excels at the more than the others, though, is his shot. It’s quick, powerful, and accurate, and he’s able to unload a nice one-timer when he gets the opportunity. He slams home rebounds with authority, and already has a strong grasp of how to score by using chip-ins and deflections in traffic.
His defensive game is still a work in progress, as he gets caught making the wrong decision at times, but he makes an honest effort to get back and help out. His play on the penalty kill steadily improved and he became one of Portland’s most trusted forwards on the job. There’s no reason that he couldn’t become a reliable, highly-effective defensive player one day in the future with enough proper development and coaching.
The most tantalizing thing about Glass, and what will likely make him a high pick in this year’s entry draft, is recognizing just how much more room he still has to grow and improve. A little bit of a late bloomer, the parts of his game that currently need fine-tuning are all ones that could realistically be improved upon. If everything goes according to plan, he could one day develop into a big, mobile, two-way center that is equally dangerous setting up scoring opportunities as he is finishing them off. Few other prospects in this draft can boast that kind of a potential ceiling.