DENVER -- Shane Bowers knows the plan is for him to eventually join center and fellow Nova Scotia native Nathan MacKinnon with the Colorado Avalanche, but that won't happen for at least another year.
Bowers, a center who was the No. 28 pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2017 NHL Draft, will return to Boston University for his sophomore season.
"Whenever I'm ready, whether it's one or two years, hopefully I can jump in and make an impact [as a pro]," he said. "Hopefully, I will be able to make the jump sooner than later."
Bowers, who turns 19 on Monday, was acquired by the Avalanche as part of a three-team trade with the Senators and Nashville Predators on Nov. 5, 2017. Colorado sent center Matt Duchene to Ottawa and the Senators traded center Kyle Turris to the Predators. The Avalanche also received defenseman Samuel Girard, forward Vladislav Kamenev, goalie Andrew Hammond (now with the Minnesota Wild) and three draft picks.
"We liked [Bowers] his draft year," said Avalanche director of amateur scouting Alan Hepple. "We knew we weren't going to get him where we were picking and he was going to be gone before our second pick."
Colorado had the No. 4 pick in 2017 and selected defenseman Cale Makar, entering his sophomore year at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst).
"We liked [Bowers], so when we got him in the trade it was a plus," Hepple said. "To see him now look bigger, look stronger, playing at BU getting more confident … I am looking for big things from him."
For now, Bowers (6-foot-1, 183 pounds) is enjoying life as a collegian. He finished third in scoring at Boston University as a freshman with 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 40 games and was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie team. He's headed to Kamloops, British Columbia, to play for Canada at the World Junior Summer Showcase, a development camp leading to the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, from July 28-Aug. 4.
The Avalanche will allow Bowers to develop at his own pace, and he believes his speed will make him a good fit when he's ready to take his game to the next level.
"They're a young team and I think the way they play suits my style," said Bowers, who took part in Colorado's development camp in June. "I really think this could work out for me."