Paul Bittner
Image: CHL Images

Paul Bittner

Hometown:

Crookston Minnesota

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1996-11-04

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-4

Acquired:

2nd Round (38th Overall), 2015

Weight:

198 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream
History

2011-12: Paul Bittner played for Team Northeast in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League in Minnesota in the fall and played for Crookston High School in northwest Minnesota. He scored 15 goals with 6 assists and 10 penalty minutes in 25 games for Crookston as a ninth-grader. Crookston finished seventh in the Mariucci Conference and lost to Park Rapids, 3-1, in the Section 8A quarterfinals. Bittner scored 8 goals with 4 assists and was +10 in 10  games for Team Northeast.

2012-13: Bittner elected to play major junior hockey instead of staying at Crookston High School, attending training camp with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks and making the team as a free agent. He skated in 45 of 72 regular season games for Portland, scoring 12 goals with 11 assists, and was +8 with 12 penalty minutes. The Winterhawks finished first in the U.S. Division and defeated Edmonton in the playoff finals to win the first WHL championship in club history. Bittner saw limited ice time in 19 playoff games, finishing -4 with no points nor penalties. He had no points and was -2 in five Memorial Cup games as the Winterhawks reached the championship game, falling 6-4 to Halifax.

2013-14: Bittner showed tremendous growth in his second season in the WHL with Portland and played for the USA U18 team in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He scored 22 goals with 27 assists in 63 regular season games and was +25 with 27 penalty minutes. Portland finished first in the U.S. Division and reached the WHL finals, falling to eventual Memorial Cup champion Edmonton. Bittner scored 6 goals with 6 assists and was +10 with 11 penalty minutes in 21 playoff contests. He scored 2 goals with 1 assist in five games for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

2014-15:Bittner was the Portland Winterhawks’ fourth-leading scorer in his third WHL season. He scored 34 goals with 37 assists and was +39 with 52 penalty minutes in 66 regular season games. The Winterhawks finished second to Everett in the U.S. Division but defeated the Silvertips in the second round of the playoffs before falling to Kelowna in the Western Conference finals. Bittner scored 4 goals with 8 assists and was -2 with 6 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games. He played for Team Orr in the 2015 CHL Top Prospects Game and was ranked 26th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings. Bittner was elected by Columbus in the second round (38th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. 

2015-16: Bittner signed a three-year entry-level contract with Columbus in August 2015 before returning to the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. Expected to carry the load with players like Chase De Leo, Nic Petan and Oliver Bjorkstrand moving on to the pro ranks, he appeared to be hitting his stride before suffering a season-ending hip injury that required surgery in early December. In his last six games before the injury Bittner scored six goals — finishing the season with 10 goals and 11 assists in 21 games. He was -4 with 21 penalty minutes. Portland finished third in the U.S. Division, facing second-place Everett in a first-round playoff series. 

Talent Analysis
Bittner is a big, lanky forward with a long reach who disrupts passing lanes and creates distractions for opponents. He has developed a quick release, and his foot speed has increased during his junior career. There have been some whispers that Bittner needs to play a harder game physically.
Future

Bittner skated in just 21 games in 2015-16, undergoing season-ending hip surgery in December 2015 and missing an opportunity to play for the USA at the 2016 World Juniors. Signed to an entry-level contract, Bittner will head into training camp looking to earn a spot either with the Blue Jackets or AHL affiliate Lake Erie. He is also eligible to return to Portland for an overage season. Long-term he projects as a scoring forward with some size.

2015 NHL Draft: Columbus Blue Jackets draft review

by David Hahn
on
Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets pick Zach Werenski was one of Team USA' s best defensemen in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick Zach Werenski was one of Team USA’ s best defensemen in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

 

Ever since Jarmo Kekalainen took the helm in 2013, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been pointed in a positive direction. Heading into the 2015 NHL Draft, the club had spent a number of selections on forwards, boasting an enviable group of high-caliber, quality scorers. The major question heading into the draft was what the team would do to bolster the blueline. Read more»

2015 NHL Draft: Hockey’s Future Staff Mock Draft

by HF Staff
on
Match Marner - Lawson Crouse - Noah Hanifin - Jack Eichel - Connor McDavid - Dylan Strome - 2015 NHL Draft Top Prospects

Photo: 2015 NHL Draft prospects (front l-r) Mitch Marner and Lawson Crouse, and (back I-r) Noah Hanifin, Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid, and Dylan Strome are players expected to be chosen at the top of the draft being held in Sunrise, FL on 6/26 & 27 (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

 

Just like that, another year is over. The Chicago Blackhawks have won their third Stanley Cup in six years, elevating the team’s exciting roster to dynasty status. For the rest of the league, the 2015 NHL Draft now looms large on the calendar, taking place June 26th and 27th at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Read more»

2015 NHL Draft Preview: Provorov, Barzal lead solid group of WHL prospects

by Glen Erickson
on
Ivan Provorov - Brandon Wheat Kings

Photo: Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman and 2015 prospect Ivan Provorov turned in a strong 2014-15 season in the WHL, and further helped his draft stock with good showings at the 2015 World Junior Championship and 2015 CHL Top Prospects Game (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

 

Here’s a look at our top 10 prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft from the Western Hockey League, with the consensus top four rather apparent.

Our list contains six forwards and four defensemen. A total of six players toiled in the Western Conference. Only the Brandon Wheat Kings managed two players in our ranking. There is a definite Canadian presence in our ranking, with seven canucks on the list. Two Americans and one Russian round out the ranking. All 10 were invited to the NHL Combine. Read more»

NHL Draft Primer: Second round littered with potential selections from the U.S.

by David Hahn
on
Paul Bittner - Team Orr - 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward and 2015 prospect Paul Bittner netted a goal in Team Orr’s 6-1 win over Team Cherry at the 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

 

Most draft pundits point to the 2016 draft, front-loaded with players from the United States like Auston Matthews, Logan Brown, and Matt Tkachuk, as one that the Americans could dominate early on. But teams won’t have to look too far outside of the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft to find the next wave of U.S. talent pushing for playing time in the NHL. Read more»

Prospect Faceoff: CHL, USHL playoffs continue as top NHL prospects go head-to-head

by David Hahn
on
Tobias Lindberg - Oshawa Generals; Josh Ho-Sang - Niagara IceDogs - Prospect Impressions: CHL, USHL playoffs continue as top prospects go head-to-head

Photo: Oshawa Generals forward and Ottawa Senators prospect Tobias Lindberg and Niagara IceDogs forward and New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang go head-to-head in OHL playoff action this weekend (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

 

The CHL playoffs continue this weekend, with second round action on tap. In the OHL, an import forward and one of the most dynamic players in the league go head-to-head. The QMJHL matchup features two international players with rare hockey backgrounds in an interesting look at teams putting the pieces together. Meanwhile, in the WHL, a slumping power forward is hoping to put a few past an underrated goaltender playing behind a powerful offense. Finally, the USHL playoffs continue as two rivals an interstate apart clash for the first time in four years. Read more»