This summer, the Nashville Predators decided to move Ryan Ellis, a franchise icon who had played more than 560 games for the team and was so important to the team that in 2017, when asked who should be the next captain of the team, Roman Josi (who was eventually awarded the “C”) said his fellow defenseman instead of himself. Ellis was made an “associate captain” at the time, showing just how highly the organization and team thought of him. When it became obvious that their cap situation was going to be difficult to navigate moving forward, Ellis was sent to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Philippe Myers and Nolan Patrick. Immediately, Patrick was flipped to his old junior coach Kelly McCrimmon and the Vegas Golden Knights, in exchange for Cody Glass.
Glass had failed to establish himself as a regular in the loaded Vegas forward group, with just 66 NHL games under his belt entering this season. He had scored nine goals and 22 points in that time, but had also only suited up for a handful of AHL games each season. The hope was that in Nashville, he could take a bigger role, which could help his NHL career take off.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened to this point and today the Predators assigned Glass to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. To explain the move, Predators head coach John Hynes said that the best thing for Glass right now would be to play first-line minutes at the minor league level:
So, we had a good talk with him yesterday, we feel like he’s going to be a real important guy for us, but right now what’s best for him is to be able to go play in Milwaukee, play top-line center minutes, play first powerplay minutes, get some touches and be able to produce and play a big role, work on his faceoffs and get himself up and running a little bit better.
Sending a young player to the minor leagues to continue his development with big minutes on the first line is nothing new, but it’s not usually done with a 22-year-old sixth-overall pick that has spent most of his professional career to this point in the NHL. Glass will turn 23 this season (next April) and is on the final year of his entry-level contract. He’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, though not eligible for arbitration.
There’s even more pressure on the Predators to prove that Glass was the right choice, because of what they gave up for him. While Ellis plays huge minutes in Philadelphia–28:20 with two assists in his first match–Predators’ fans will have to wait and hope this slow, developmental approach with their new forward will pay off.