weather icon Clear

Cody Glass eager to flex muscles for Golden Knights

Cody Glass smiled sheepishly when a reporter pointed out it almost looked as if he was showing off his arms during a Zoom call.

“Thanks for calling me out for that,” Glass said while moving his forearms out of frame.

The Golden Knights’ center, of course, had nothing to apologize for. He was the one who put in the work.

Glass spent his offseason feverishly reshaping his body after a disappointing rookie year. He tried to turn a setback — right knee surgery in March — into a positive by hitting the gym during rehab and gaining strength.

The 21-year-old showed up for this season about 15 pounds heavier as a result. He also appears to have gained just as much confidence as weight, a good sign for a player the Knights will need to rely on.

“I got time to work on my body, and it put me in a position to be the player I want to be,” Glass said. “A strong, two-way forward that can play both ends of the ice.”

Glass began his rookie season with a bang, scoring his first goal in his nationally televised debut against the San Jose Sharks. But the good times didn’t last for the team’s first-ever draft pick.

Glass, selected sixth overall in 2017, was moved around the lineup. He switched between center and wing. And he dealt with injuries, culminating with the one that ended his season in February.

He had six points in his first nine NHL games, then six in his next 30.

“I’ve always been a point producer, a contributor to my team,” said Glass, who averaged 1.55 points per game in his final three junior seasons. “That was a little bit different for me. But going into my second year now, I feel like I’m more prepared for that. I know what to expect.”

Glass thought he needed to add muscle during the offseason. He thought he was too easy to push off the puck or send into the boards as a rookie.

He had plenty of time to work out while recovering from his knee injury. He was listed at 192 pounds before his surgery and got as high as 213 before settling in the 205-to-207 range.

Teammates have noticed the difference.

“Just seeing him now, you can tell he’s put on a lot of weight, a lot of strength,” defenseman Alec Martinez said. “You can tell he’s dynamic. He’s got a lot of skill.”

Glass hopes the added strength will allow him to be more competitive physically in the NHL while not sacrificing much of what makes him special. As coach Pete DeBoer said, there’s few playmaking centers with Glass’ size.

The Knights are hoping a healthy and stronger Glass will help fill the void created with the trade of center Paul Stastny to Winnipeg.

“It was some long days (this offseason),” Glass said. “I just wanted to put my body in the best position possible to be able to play in those puck battles. I knew I struggled with that a lot last year, and I was very inconsistent. If I work on that part of my game, I think it’s going to go a long way for me.”

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.