Continuing the examination of all the pieces the Colorado Avalanche recieved in the Matt Duchene trade, here’s a look at newest forward prospect Shane Bowers. He is a 6’2 186 lbs left shot center and currently in his freshman season at Boston University. He was selected 28th overall in the 2017 NHL entry draft by the Ottawa Senators and just turned 18 years-old on July 30th. He might be the most underrated piece of the trade return because he’s not expected to join the organization for another year or two and he has just started the chance to really mature his game in the meantime.
Bowers joins a growing list of Canadian players with NCAA roots in the Avalanche organization including Alexander Kerfoot, Tyson Jost, AJ Greer, Cale Makar and Cam Morrison. Perhaps just coincidence but interesting to note. Also, as a Halifax native Bowers has been around the local NHL stars such as Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby. Bowers shares the same CAA agency “family advisor” as those two players and has even skated with them during the summers is another interesting connection.
Bowers’ story is an fascinating one as he long appeared on the radar before his draft eligible season. He was slated to become the first overall selection in the 2015 QMJHL draft before current draft eligible Joe Veleno was granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada and thus went first overall to Saint John. After becoming the fourth overall selection by Cape Breton, Bowers kept his options open and eventually settled on the college route and a commitment to Boston University. After Cape Breton relinquished his rights, Saint John drafted Bowers in the second round of the 2016 QMJHL draft in hopes that Bowers would change his mind. No such luck but it is of note that they are the team who currently holds his CHL rights.
Before beginning his collegiate career, Bowers first made a stop in in the USHL for two seasons with the Waterloo Black Hawks where he posted 37 goals and 84 points in 116 career games. In his young NCAA career, Bowers has posted four goals and six points in his first 12 games. Looking a little further into his stats show that Bowers has generated 27 shots on goal and is robust on the faceoff dot having won 51% of the 176 draws taken.
Bowers is well on his way to developing as a multi-faceted center. He possesses a high hockey IQ and is reliable with good defensive ability. While Bowers is more of a north south player when it comes to his nose for the net, he is also a smart playmaker. He’s a swift skater and even has a little bit of an edge to his game. There’s a lot to like here as a player who should be able to eventually help the Avalanche. He projects to be something of a middle six center who can play in all situations and impact the game in all three zones. The Avalanche have had troubles in the past getting successes out of these “safe” picks but should have plenty of time to develop Bowers before he’s needed in the NHL.
Here is a look at his early season highlights. We’ll continue to track his many more to come.