When last Brett Howden made international news, it was because of a melancholy reason. The captain of the WHL's Moose Jaw Warriors had just been cut from the World Junior Championship's Team Canada, the only Bolt prospect named to the initial roster that was sent back.
At that point in early December he was disappointed by the cut. "It's obviously not very fun right now. I worked hard, did everything I could...just didn't work out this time," Howden told TSN. "It was a good experience. A tough way to leave, but things will get better from here."
Things did get better. Despite the cut from the WJC team, Tampa Bay showed their faith in his ability today by signing him to a three-year Entry Level Contract.
Howden's contract came soon after the Bolts signed Mitchell Stephens to three years for 839k. Is Howden's contract similar? Chances are it is, given that Howden was selected 27th overall in 2016, not far away from Stephens' 33rd overall.
So far this season, Howden has earned 32 points (16G/16A) in 21 games for Moose Jaw. This is his third year with the team — in the 2014-15 season, he was Rookie of the Year. He has played in 162 games, earning 143 points (63G/80A), 20 powerplay goals, and 104 PIM. In ten playoff games he's earned 4G/11A. He is 6'3 and 191 lbs.
Scott Wheeler of the prospect scouting site Future Considerations had this report on Howden: "He's a really well-rounded player. I had him pegged for Canada before the pre-tournament play began. In the latter part of last year and start of this year he has taken huge leaps forward. He's shooting more, and he's scoring a ton as a result. Big fan of his game. Safe bet to become an NHLer."
Think he starts with the Syracuse Crunch?
Speaking of those 104 PIM, Howden has made enough of an impression on Hockey Fights that they reported on his ELC. For those interested, here's his fight card.
And here are a few highlights to enjoy, courtesy of Moose Jaw: