Vegas Golden Knights: A Cody Glass breakout in 2020-21 would be huge for player and team

Vegas Golden Knights center Cody Glass (9) shoots during the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Vegas Golden Knights center Cody Glass (9) shoots during the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

This is going to be a huge year for Cody Glass and the Vegas Golden Knights.

The stage is set for the forward to really break out in his sophomore season and establish himself as an offensive force for the Vegas Golden Knights.

It is a well-told tale by now but Glass endured an injury-ravaged and bitterly disappointing rookie year in 2019-20, finishing the regular season with 12 points (5 G, 7 A) in 39 games with a Plus/Minus rating of -7.

Despite showing flashes of promise and brilliance, the good was outweighed by the bad with Glass suffering a concussion and two serious knee injuries that really curtailed and stumped his progress.

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The concussion, suffered after a hit to the head by New York Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux on Dec. 8, 2019, effectively finished the centre’s NHL season, before a second knee injury sustained while playing for the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League required surgery and was the final nail in the coffin for Glass in 2019-20.

It was a crushing blow for the No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, who scored on his NHL debut against the San Jose Sharks, recorded four points (2 G, 2 A) in his first five games and also showed plenty of promise on the power play with Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty.

However, the past is the past and Glass must now look forward to the future because the 2020-21 season presents a huge opportunity for the prospect.

Following the trade of veteran forward Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets in order to clear cap space so Vegas could sign elite defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, there is a vacancy to be filled on the second-line, not to mention that the Golden Knights now have a lack of depth at center.

While William Karlsson is a very, very good two-way pivot in the NHL, he probably isn’t in the top ten list of centers from an offensive standpoint.

Plus, there isn’t much behind Karlsson and, although Chandler Stephenson developed good chemistry with Stone and Pacioretty, he probably is more suited to a bottom-six role and it would be more beneficial to have Pacioretty, Karlsson and Stone all on the top line.

Therefore, there is a golden opportunity for Glass to rebound from a tough rookie year, step up and really elevate his game to prove that he’s the player the Golden Knights thought he could be when they drafted him.

Boasting elite playmaking skills, high-end vision and superb puck-handling ability, Glass has also reportedly piled on the muscle during the off-season and the second-line center role will be his to lose in Training Camp.

Having Stone and Pacioretty on his wings in 2019-20, Glass helped that line to outshoot the opposition 31-24 and out-chance them 30-19 in nearly 50 minutes of ice time, so the potential and the sheer talent is clearly there.

Vegas Golden Knights center Cody Glass (9).
Vegas Golden Knights center Cody Glass (9) handles the puck. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

It could well be Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith that end up on a line with Glass, but both are high-end playmakers in the NHL and both would complement Glass perfectly.

More mature and more battle-hardened after having a taste of the NHL last season, Glass should be better and mentally tougher for the experiences he went through during his rookie year, while it should have also added plenty of fuel to the fire.

As a result, a fully motivated Glass should be reporting to Training Camp firing on all cylinders and ready to go and, if he can unlock his potential and stay healthy, then he should be able to establish himself as a second-line center and really provide an offensive spark.

And if Glass can produce offense, play a solid game in all zones and play to the level his high ceiling suggests he can reach, then it would solve a huge problem for the Golden Knights and give them a one-two punch at center behind Karlsson.

It would give an already talent-laden roster another weapon in their large arsenal and, as the old saying goes, you need good centers in order to succeed in the National Hockey League.

Next. Golden Knights getting a Reverse Retro jersey. dark

So, if Cody Glass can put it all together in 2020-21 and truly breakout, then it will be very good news for both the player and the Vegas Golden Knights who can count the center position as a flaw heading into next season.