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Glass, first Golden Knights pick, could have NHL debut moved up

Forward from 2017 Draft has chance to open season with injuries to Eakin, Tuch

by Danny Webster / Independent Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- Cody Glass could make his NHL debut this week for the Vegas Golden Knights after forwards Cody Eakin and Alex Tuch were injured in a preseason game.

Glass, a center who was the first NHL Draft pick in Vegas history (No. 6 in the 2017 NHL Draft), skated on the second line with forwards Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone at practice Saturday. That line could be intact when the Golden Knights play the San Jose Sharks in their preseason finale at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, KTNV).

"It's a great opportunity for him," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said Saturday. "That works out the way it is. Cody is a young player (20), [he's] had a great camp. He's been waiting for the opportunity. We have no issue with that."

Glass could been sent to play for Chicago of the American Hockey League, where last season he had five points (three goals, two assists) in six games after he had 69 points (15 goals, 54 assists) in 38 games for Portland of the Western Hockey League.

"I'm just trying to make the team here," he said last week. "Just take it one day at a time and try not to focus on the future too much."

Glass (6-foot-2, 178 pounds) has three assists this preseason, all with Pacioretty on the ice.

"He's a very smart hockey player," Pacioretty said Sept. 13. "That's something that you can't teach. What's really nice to see is the things you can teach and you can improve, like getting bigger and stronger, he's done that since I've been here. I tend to gravitate toward smart hockey players, and he's definitely one of them. I think that's why he'll have a long NHL career."

Paul Stastny was moved to the third line in place of Eakin, who sustained an undisclosed injury against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday. Brandon Pirri skated in place of Tuch, who is week to week after sustaining an upper-body injury.

Tuch and Eakin had been playing on the third line with Valentin Zykov. Eakin will not play Sunday and his status for the regular-season opener against San Jose on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS) is unknown.

"Obviously, we'd like to have both of those guys," Gallant said. "[Tuch's] not going to be there obviously, but we'll wait and see on [Eakin]."

Tuch hit the boards after drawing a penalty on Kings defenseman Sean Walker at 8:37 of the second period. Eakin left at 10:18 of the third period.

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