Blaine Byron
Image: Dan Hickling

Blaine Byron

Hometown:

Manotick Ontario

Currently Playing In:

NCAA

Birthday:

1995-02-21

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

6th round (179th overall), 2013

Weight:

172 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D

History

2010-11: Blaine Byron joined the Kemptville 73’s late in the season; skating in nine junior A games as a 16-year-old. He played six midget AAA games with the Upper Canada Cyclones and was one of the top scorers for the Cyclones’ midget minor team. Byron scored 1 goal with 1 assist and had two penalty minutes in his time with the 73’s. In six games with the midget AAA Cyclones he scored 2 goals with 1 assist and had 2 penalty minutes. Byron scored 18 goals with 30 assists and 12 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Cyclones midget minor team. He was selected by Niagara in the 11th round (220th overall) of the 2011 OHL Priority Draft.

2011-12: Byron was the leading scorer for Kemptville in the re-named Central Canada Hockey League in his first full season of junior hockey. Skating in 42 of 62 games for the 73’s, he scored 12 goals with a team-high 27 assists and had 20 penalty minutes. Kemptville missed the CCHL playoffs; finishing 11th in the 12-team league.

2012-13: Byron began the season with Kemptville before being acquired by the Smiths Falls Bears at the CCHL trade deadline. He was selected to represent Canada East in the 2012 U19 World Junior A Challenge. In 24 games with Kemptville, which finished last in the Robinson Division, Byron scored 7 goals with 16 assists and had 8 penalty minutes. He skated in 27 games for Smiths Falls and scored 5 goals with 24 assists and 16 penalty minutes. The Bears reached the playoffs after finishing fourth in the Robinson Division. Byron had 1 assist in five playoff games. He had 4 assists in five games for Canada East at the WJAC. In October 2012, Byron committed to playing college hockey at Maine in 2013-14. Ranked 122nd amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, he was selected by Pittsburgh in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Byron skated in 32 of 35 games for the University of Maine in his freshman season. Playing mostly right wing in a third line role for the Black Bears, he scored 8 goals with 8 assists and had an even plus/minus with 4 penalty minutes. Maine finished sixth in Hockey East. After defeating Merrimack in a preliminary game the Black Bears were swept by Providence in a best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series.

2014-15: Byron was the second-leading goal scorer for the University of Maine in his sophomore season and fourth overall in scoring with 27 points in 39 games for the Bears. He scored 12 goals, two behind team leader Devin Shore (DAL), and was -2 with 15 assists and 6 penalty minutes. The Black Bears finished 10th in Hockey East in the regular season, taking seventh-place Vermont to overtime in the decisive third game of their first round series in the Hockey East playoffs before falling, 3-2.

2015-16: Byron led the University of Maine in scoring in his junior season. In 38 games he scored 8 goals with a team-leading 16 assists and was -15 with 8 penalty minutes. The Black Bears finished 11th in Hockey East and were swept by Northeastern in the opening round of the conference tournament.

Talent Analysis

Byron is a playmaking forward with a high hockey IQ. He is very good at creating offensive both off the rush and down low and has excellent vision and anticipation, which allow him to create space. Aside from adding strength and size, Byron needs to develop more of a shooter mentality, if only to cause opposing defensemen to back off a little. He also needs to simplify his game and learn when to chip in the puck and when to carry it.

Future

Byron led a young University of Maine team in scoring in 2015-16 as a junior. The Black Bears struggled in Hockey East — finishing 11th in the 12-team league — and scored a league-low 76 goals in 38 games. There were rumors that Byron might sign a pro deal following the year but he is expected to return to Maine for his senior season. Byron figures to be a key part of the rebuilding plans next season. Like other NCAA prospects he could become an unrestricted free agent if he plays out his eligibility and doesn't sign but there is an interest on both sides and the Penguins are a solid organization in which to start an NHL career.

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