Brett Howden of the Moose Jaw Warriors is fortunate in that he was able to source as much information as he may have needed prior to the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
With the Warriors, he need look no further than Brayden Point (TBL), perhaps the top player in the WHL. And if he wanted even more details, a quick call to his brother, Quinton Howden, would most certainly yield enough information to help establish a level of comfort in advance of the TPG festivities.
Quinton also represented the Warriors at the 2010 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Windsor, Ontario, where he played for Team Orr. He was selected by Florida in the first round, 25th overall, at the 2010 NHL Draft and since then has worked his way into the Panthers’ lineup, appearing in 41 games so far this season.
The brothers have some unique history in Moose Jaw as Quinton played his entire career in the Civic Centre, an ancient rink often referred to as the “Crushed Can”. Brett knows that building well, having watched his brother play there, but by the time he donned a Warriors jersey, the city of Moose Jaw had constructed the swanky, new Mosaic Place.
Brett, who wears number 21 in Moose Jaw, as did his older brother, is now 17. He checks in at 6’2” and 193 pounds. The Warriors organization obviously felt confident in terms of family ties, selecting the younger Howden in the first round, fifth overall, at the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. He played in five games as a 15 year old, then scored 22 goals and 24 assists in 68 games during his first full WHL season.
In 44 games this season, Howden has scored 17 goals and added 24 assists on a Moose Jaw team looking to earn a post-season berth for the first time since the 2011-12 season. That last playoff appearance coincided with the final year of Quinton Howden’s WHL career.
This season, the Warriors lineup boasts three players that attended the Top Prospects Game. Howden skated with Team Orr while goaltender Zach Sawchenko and forward Noah Gregor played for Team Cherry.
Howden has significant international experience, as well, competing in the 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge where he was an assistant captain for Team Canada White. In 2015, he represented Canada at both the U18 World Championship (bronze) and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial (gold), medaling at each event. He describes himself as a competitive, passionate and gritty team player.
Howden is ranked 27th by NHL Central Scouting in their midterm rankings. According to CSS, Howden “displays very good speed and acceleration in all areas of the ice. He plays with determination to generate offense when driving to the net from both wings. He’s very effective on the penalty killing unit, utilizing his size, speed and tenacious forechecking to force turnovers. He is a valuable team player that can bring different dimensions to the game.”
Hockey’s Future spoke with Howden at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver, with his comments being captured in this HF podcast.
Follow Glen Erickson on Twitter via @glenerickson51