CALGARY, AB --
Winger Ryan Howse
made sure his last year with the Chilliwack Bruins was a memorable one.
"It was a good year for sure," he smiled. "Definitely one of my best years."
Describing it as a good year would be an understatement. The 20 year-old scored 51 goals through 70 regular season games and was averaging 1.19 points-per-game during the campaign.
An offensive powerhouse throughout his junior career, Howse's greatest strength is his shot. It's incredibly accurate and his ability to finish made him a prolific scorer in the WHL. Over the past three seasons, Howse has wracked up 129 goals and 199 points.
While his overall game evolved and improved during his tenure with the Bruins, Howse has never lost his scoring touch despite learning to play more in his own end. He credits his linemates - particularly fellow Flames prospect Roman Horak - for allowing him to continue to produce offensively while working on the defensive side of the game.
"I had a couple of good players to work with who I ended up being linemates with throughout the season," he said. "Obviously having (head coach) Marc Habscheid down in Chilliwack was good for me for the two years that I had him for. I couldn't thank them enough. A lot of it comes down to who I played with though. That added up for some pretty big success."
Horak shared in his teammate's success, compiling a career season that saw him notch 26 goals and 78 points. Howse believes it was the duo's ability to learn from each other that led them both to strong individual season's.
"You've just got to work hard and kind of gel with the people you play with. I think I did that real well. I got to play with the same people for quite some time. Being in Chilliwack for the whole junior career I had there was good."
While Howse admits he'll miss his days in Chilliwack, he's excited to take the next step in his career. He is likely bound for Abbotsford at the end of the summer but is heading into training camp with the same goal he believes all players need to have: making the roster.
"That's my main goal, obviously - to push for a spot. Everyone wants to make the NHL one day. That's the mentality I think you have to have coming in here.
"Just work hard and don't be too satisfied for just getting sent down or going back to junior."Follow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson