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Bowen Byram. First Canadian Drafted in 2019?

February 13th, 2019

Over 6 feet tall? Check. A natural leader? Check. Hockey bloodlines? Check. I could go on but the list would become more than a little repetitive. Bowen Byram is someone that should be on your radar if you're picking early in the first round this June at the NHL Entry Draft. Most scouts agree Byram will be the first defensemen off the board, but what is it that makes him a sure fire first round pick?


Bowen is a player I have been following for over two years while he has been playing in Vancouver for the Giants in the WHL. He's become a real leader for the Giants and is without a doubt their number one d-man. Byram is on the ice for just about every crucial play and has been known to score some dramatic game winners. He plays with a lot of emotion and likes to get involved in physical battles which helps him get under the skin of his opponents. 


The real question is, what is his ceiling? He likes to compare himself to Toronto's Morgan Reilly but I view him more as an Alex Edler type but with more swagger/aggressiveness to his game and a better shot. Whoever drafts him gets a player that can help quarterback a powerplay with his hard slap shot that is deadly accurate.


So instead of me summing him up I'll let Bowen tell you: "I’m not a selfish guy. I love winning games. Whether I get zero points or five points in a night and we win, it doesn’t matter to me. Winning’s the best feeling in the world."


At time of writing Byram has 51 points and 21 goals in 52 games this season and is 4th in scoring for defensemen. Furthermore, his 21 goals are good for the most by a d-man, something he is starting to stand out for. Even in his rookie season he was impressive notching six goals and 27 points in 60 games. He also added three goals and seven points in Vancouver’s first-round playoff loss to the Victoria Royals.


Byram has also played for team Canada numerous times. Although he was snubbed from the recent World Junior Tournament in Vancouver, he helped Canada capture gold this past summer in Alberta at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, recording four points (1-3–4) in five games. He was also one of three underagers on the squad that lost in the Under-18 worlds quarterfinals in Russia last April.


Bowen is the type of player that only comes around every once in a while. He has the skills to be a top pairing d-man, however, what sets him apart is his work ethic. His head coach Dyck says it best: "He plays with an edge. He’s a highly competitive kid. He’s always on his toes. He’s one of those guys where, if anything, we’ve got to pull the reigns back a bit, which is a good thing as opposed to having to prod somebody," he said, noting that Byram’s, "good on both sides of the puck." Bowen and his coach Michael Dyck have known each other for a while. In fact, the two won a bantam championship together in Lethbridge, Alberta and their families are good friends. 


Bowen was the third overall pick in the 2016 Bantam draft and I project he goes in the top five this year. Whoever decides to draft him is getting a complete 200-foot player who can score big goals and munch big minutes.; something just about every team could use.


Twitter legend Cam Robinson describes Byram (as) "an explosive skater who can act as a one-man breakout. He blends his terrific acceleration and north-south speed with lateral edge work and play-creation through the neutral zone. Owns a heavy shot that is effective in all situations."


Byram is a Canucks fan, however it seems unlikely that the Canucks will have a shot at drafting him. Whoever gets Bowen gets a player who excels at getting the puck up the ice with his skating and poise, which in todays NHL essential for any defenceman. Any team who is picking in the 3-8 range should strongly consider drafting this stud two way d-man who could be the first Canadian drafted in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. 


Bowen Byram could be the answer to your team's prayers; it all depends on where your team's lottery ball lands. 


-AP

"Whether I get zero points or five points in a night and we win, it doesn’t matter to me"

Meet The Team!

Alexander Paterson

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Title: Owner, Founder, GM, President and Editor

Date of birth: May 29th, 1990 

Hometown: Victoria, British Columbia

Currently Living In: Calgary, Alberta 

Favorite Team: Vancouver Canucks 

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Title: Owner/Assistant GM/Assistant Editor

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Title: Assistant Scout

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Mark Bunker

Date of birth : Oct 12 /81 
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