Bowen Byram, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. No financial terms were released.
The 18-year-old defenseman had 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) in 67 games for Vancouver of the Western Hockey League last season. He led all WHL defensemen in goals and was third in points. Byram also had 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 22 playoff games, leading all players in assists and points and becoming the first defenseman to lead the WHL in postseason scoring. He helped Vancouver advance to the WHL final, where it lost to Prince Albert in seven games.
"We were all-in on Bowen," Avalanche director of amateur scouting Alan Hepple said of Byram (6-foot, 193 pounds), who was No. 2 among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting's final rakings for the 2019 Draft. "He's smart and his puck management is unbelievable. His poise, his patience, his offensive ability to see the play and read the play and to make plays is exceptional. Everything is high-end."
Byram was one of two first-round picks made by the Avalanche. They selected forward Alex Newhook with the No. 16 pick. Newhook is committed to play at Boston College this season.
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