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NHL Mock Draft 2017: Detroit Red Wings select Cody Glass with No. 9 pick

With three of the top defensemen in the Draft coming off the board before 9th overall, the Red Wings opt to draft a center in the 1st round.

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With the 9th overall pick in the 2017 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft... The Detroit Red Wings are proud to select centerman Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks.

You may recall that I made this exact same pick in my personal mock draft earlier in the spring. I went into the mock draft prepared to take a centerman if one of Miro Heiskanen, Timothy Liljegren or Cale Makar were not available. The Coyotes and the Sabres took them both with the two picks before us, so that’s how it played out.

The pick came down to four: Eli Tolvanen, Cody Glass, Elias Pettersson, and Martin Necas — so the decision did not come very easily.

I took the more dynamic player in Glass out of the four. He’s a high-motor two-way center that one scout described to me as “a pain-in-the-ass” to play against. Glass’ stock has soared since October after he displayed much improvement in his skating and playmaking ability. When you ask scouts what they think, they gush over his soft hands and ability to make those around him better players. You also hear a lot about his compete level — with a style that can be compared to a player like Patrice Bergeron.

Glass enjoyed an impressive sophomore year with the Portland Winterhawks, putting up 94 points (34 goals, 62 assists) in 69 games, and nine points (four goals, five assists) in 11 WHL playoff games. Glass was named a First-Team All-Star for Team West in April.

Glass’ right-handed shot gives him the ability to be utilized on the wing as well — Portland did this in certain situations to optimize his shooting and passing ability on the man advantage. His true, raw two-way talent puts him as one of the five-best centers in this Draft class.

A scout’s note from Future Considerations:

He has silky hands in tight and is a danger to do damage around the crease or to jam in a backdoor play. Has a good wrist shot and backhander with the type of accuracy that allows him to finish off plays. He is patient, looks for and finds open lanes to the net and gets his shots off with quickness on the release. He utilizes an active stick in the defensive zone to get to loose pucks, close off lanes or to deflect pucks. He has a bit of a rugged side to him, although he isn’t a true hard-nosed player. He uses a smart approach to checking and doesn’t always have to be a brute to slip in, separate the puck from the body and make a heads up play out of the zone. Shows great compete to get quick on pucks and make decisive plays. He is able to muscle through checks and shift his angles to protect the puck with a man on him.

I reached out to Justin Froese, the Head of Western Canadian Scouting over at Future Considerations for a little more on Glass. Here’s what he had to say:

The rise of Glass was one of the most surprising and unexpected stories in the league this year. After being cut by Team Canada from the Hlinka tournament last summer, Glass seemed to undergo a reconstruction of his game and turned into a leader instead of a role player. The development was fast and furious as Glass went from 27 points as a rookie to 94 this season as the team's number-one center.

Glass is a kid who could go anywhere from #3-15 in this draft based on the parity of the class, but he has among the highest ceilings. I compare his development curve to a player like Mark Schiefele. Very raw and a bit underrated in his draft year but could move up into a top grouping on draft day and also in 5 years if he has the extrinsic factor in his favour.

Long story short, being a guy who watched a lot of dub hockey this winter and sporadically the rest of the class, you got a steal at 9. I'm betting someone takes him top 5. Draft day is going to be a zoo.

Make sure to follow Justin on Twitter. You won’t regret it.

Here’s how the picks have shaken out so far:

  1. New Jersey Devils (All About the Jersey) - Nico Hischier
  2. Philadelphia Flyers (Broadstreet Hockey) - Nolan Patrick
  3. Dallas Stars (Defending Big D) - Casey Mittelstadt
  4. Colorado Avalanche (Mile High Hockey) - Miro Heiskanen
  5. Vancouver Canucks (Nucks Misconduct) - Gabriel Vilardi
  6. Vegas Golden Knights (Knights on Ice) - Owen Tippett
  7. Arizona Coyotes (Five for Howling) - Timothy Liljegren
  8. Buffalo Sabres (Die by the Blade) - Cale Makar
  9. Detroit Red Wings (Winging it in Motown) - Cody Glass

The way I look at it, the Red Wings will take what they think the best player available is in this Draft, like many before. I personally think that even a player like Glass could and should be taken before Timothy Liljegren or Cale Makar, but the immediate need for defense on this team suggests to many fans that they should be prioritized. My argument remains firm — the Wings need just about everything. They can’t go wrong so long as they stay the course. Whether they draft a center, or defenseman, they’ll be making a good bet. It’s also important to remember that, in my opinion, there are maybe two or three NHL-ready players in this Draft. None of them being defensemen.

Cody Glass is a high-motor opportunistic two-way center, and could prove to be a real nice building block for this team. Will he fall to 9th overall? It’s a coin toss.