R. Aaron Houde | June 3rd, 2019
With the recent uprising of goals in the NHL, an impact defenseman is always in style. In the previous Regular Season, 7,664 goals were scored, an NHL record. And the pace looks to not slow down. Teams are getting younger, and the former Player Award nominees are growing to obscurity. But fear not, because the future is looking bright for the NHL. In our next Prospect Profile, we take a look at Bowen Byram.
Bowen Byram, born June 13th, 2001 in Cranbrook, BC, Canada, finished his regular season play in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) in 67 games played for the Vancouver Giants. He is highly regarded as a top 10 draft, and most likely the top Defenseman to be drafted in the upcoming NHL Draft on June 21st in Vancouver. In 22 games played during the journey to the Ed Chynoweth Cup finals, he tallied 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists) before his team lost to the Prince Albert Raiders in seven games.
Teams that have aging defensemen will be looking to add prospects such as Byram into the stable. The Chicago Blackhawks, who have relied on the work of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook through the years, are likely to draft him 3rd overall in the upcoming Draft. While both the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers have the 1st and 2nd drafts, respectively, they are likely to bypass on a defenseman since they both have younger blue lines. If the Blackhawks somehow manage to bypass the six foot, 192-pound defenseman, he is likely to be picked up fifth overall by the Los Angeles Kings.
Byram was leaned on heavily and is considered a major reason the Giants made it to the WHL Finals. His 26 points were enough to make him the top point-getter in the WHL Playoffs and set a WHL Record with 6 overtime goals. A player of patience with the puck and great ability to read the play, it is easy to see why he is considered a Top ten prospect. If he is the first selected defenseman, this will be the second time since 2008 that the top-picked defenseman was shorter than 6’1”. If Chicago picks Byram, this will be the 3rd year in a row that they’ve selected a defenseman as their first draft pick.
Check out our other NHL Draft Profiles: Alex Turcotte| Victor Soderstrom|Dylan Cozens
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