Tonight marked the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft, and Portland Winterhawks forward Cody Glass became the first draft selection in the history of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights at sixth overall, while defenseman Henri Jokiharju was selected 29th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Glass is coming off a career year in 2016-17 with the Winterhawks, in which he recorded 94 points in 69 games played. He was selected a first-team all-star in the WHL’s Western Conference, and far surpassed the 27 points he picked up in his rookie season. He started the season as a “player to watch” according to NHL Central Scouting, and saw his draft stock rise throughout the season as the Winterhawks won 40 games and Glass became the highest-scoring 17-year-old player in the WHL.
Jokiharju, meanwhile, was the WHL’s leading scorer among rookie defensemen this season with his 48 points. In his first season in North America, Jokiharju became an integral part of the Winterhawks, and was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks at 29th overall. Jokiharju becomes the 12th Winterhawks player selected by the Blackhawks in Winterhawks history, the most of any NHL franchise.
Glass and Jokiharju are the 28th and 29th Winterhawks players to be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft in franchise history. By being selected sixth overall, Glass is the highest selected Winterhawk since Seth Jones went fourth overall to the Nashville Predators in 2013. The Winterhawks’ have a rich tradition of producing talent for the NHL Draft, with 135 players now having been selected through Friday’s first round. This marks the first year the Winterhawks have had multiple first-round NHL picks since Sven Baertschi and Joe Morrow were selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. For Cody and Henri, as well as their families and our organization this has been a very exciting day.” said Winterhawks Vice President, General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston. “We’re tremendously proud of both of them, and the Golden Knights and Blackhawks will be getting not only a quality hockey players, but fantastic young men as well.”
The NHL Draft will continue on Saturday morning at 7 o’clock, with three additional Portland Winterhawks players listed in the final rankings from NHL Central Scouting.