Cody Glass nears NHL dream - KPTV - FOX 12

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Cody Glass nears NHL dream

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There has been no Winterhawks hockey the past two nights, as they were iced out, but one of their stars is as hot as they come in the Western Hockey League.

Cody Glass is the team leader in points and seventh in the league in scoring, and he's just 17.

"Growing up as a kid you always dream about getting drafted in the NHL and especially just having that feeling now that I am almost there and it's a chance I can," he said. 

Thinking about being drafted in the National Hockey League is just one of the things that dance around in the head of the 17-year-old Sunset High senior. 

"He's had a real impact on our team this year and it's really tough for 17-year-olds to impact the team, especially if you're the top center every night," said Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston. 

The second-year forward was Portland's first-round pick in 2014 and is now draft eligible in 2017.

"He seems to handle the so-called pressure of his draft year. It hasn't seemed to bother him too much. If he has a tough night on the ice, then the next day he comes in, he has a good attitude and he's getting ready for his next game," said Johnston. 

Glass began skating at the age of three and has been playing competitive hockey since five – that's how they raise them in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

"I am used to it now, but as a 16-year-old, my first time leaving home, especially being from Winnipeg, it's probably one of the furthest places to be from and play in the Western Hockey League," Glass said. 

A little homesickness was filled up with some home cooking earlier this season.

"I got to play in Brandon at the beginning of the year and I had a lot of family out there and that was a really great experience, the first time I got to play in front of them too so that was a lot of fun," Glass said. "I wanted to make my family happy and that's what I did."

His hometown Winnipeg Jets had moved out of town in 1996, three years before he was born, and until the NHL brought the pros back to Manitoba in 2011, Glass rooted for the Chicago Blackhawks. Now, he gets to wear the Hawks' iconic logo on his Portland sweater. 

"Three years ago I wore the Winnipeg Hawks logo so it's kind of ironic coming to the Portland Winterhawks," he said. 

Not ironic is the return from the NHL of the man who drafted him, Mike Johnston.

"What he has done with the team before and going to Pittsburgh and handling a Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin. I think he brought that along, down back, when he came to Portland. He gives us free will in the zone when it comes to defensive zone. He lets me be creative, lets me do what I want in the offensive zone," Glass said. 

Johnston said, "Cody, he's a 200-foot player. From our net to their net, he's really good both ways."

Glass isn't flying under the radar either. He'll lace them up later this month in the CHL-NHL top prospects game in Quebec City. 

"It's a huge thing in my hockey career so far," he said. "I can't take all of the credit. I have great linemates, Keegan Iverson, Skyler McKenzie that help me out a lot."

His teammate, Finland defenseman Henri Jokiharju will be there too. 

"When we get to game time, I think we will get a little hate out that we have in practice," said Glass. 

Jokiharju said, "He’s not going to score or get any apples when I am on the ice, a couple of dash probably."

Glass said, "I'll see about that when it comes to game time." 

Glass and the Winterhawks remain home – weather permitting – in "The Glass Palace" this Friday and Saturday at the Coliseum against Spokane. 

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