|Forward Quinton Howden skates against the NY Islanders at Nassau Coliseum (Getty Images)
Although Quinton Howden’s first NHL season was short lived, it was everything he “wished and hoped for” and so much more with the Florida Panthers last season.
Howden wanted the opportunity to get out and play in his first full season and the experience was an “awesome” one for the prospect. Starting off his 2012-2013 season with the San Antonio Rampage, Howden registered 30 points in 57 games. He eventually made his NHL debut with the Panthers on January 26 against the Flyers.
In the 18 games played and with the time spent practicing with the team, Howden learned a lot from both the coaches and his teammates. He admits that he looks up to every player on the team, whether it’s a forward like Tomas Fleischmann or a defenseman like captain Ed Jovanovski; he takes it all in to become the best player he can be. The 21-year-old has set high goals for the next season, as well as the seasons after that and is working hard on becoming a better and stronger player to be a full-time NHL player.
“I've had a lot of talks with the coaches and stuff and there are lots of things they want me to improve on,” said Howden.
Back in early July, Howden participated in his third year at the development camp at the Saveology Iceplex in Coral Springs. Now that he has participated in the camp for a few years, he was now able to be a guide for the new guys on the team and Howden enjoyed it.
“Every year I come I have a lot of fun and I enjoy coming,” said Howden from Camp.
With having played five years with the Moose Jaw Warriors, Howden has had a lot of experience playing in the minors. Advancing to the pros, not only came with excitement and celebration, but also more focus for the prospect. The players’ talent and size were a lot more advanced which drove Howden to get his head into the game even more so and work harder than ever.
“Everyone’s bigger and speeds a lot faster,” reflected Howden on the changes. “Everyone kind of knows their role and everyone is always in the right position. You have to make sure you do your job.”
From a little town outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Howden’s favorite part of the season was obviously the fact that he got to go home during the season. Having a large amount of support back home from fans and family made playing the game on April 11 in Winnipeg the best experience for the forward.
“[My] mom and dad, the whole family and friends came out to support,” said Howden. “Everyone kind of knew about that game and [came to] support at that game, so it was pretty exciting.”
Like other Canadian families, Howden isn’t the only one to play hockey. For Howden’s brother, Brett, 15, the Panthers prospect has been a role model for the young left wing. Just like Howden, Brett has been selected to play for the Moose Jaw Warriors and Howden thinks it is a great fit for his brother.
“I’m really happy he got the opportunity to go to Moose Jaw. It would be a good fit for him,” expressed Howden. “I still think he’s going to be a better player than me and we will wait and see.”
But for now, Howden is focused on his own game. Though he has learned a lot from the team just by playing for a few games this past season, Howden is still focused on reaching his goal to become a full season NHL player. He has taken into consideration what his coaches have told him and is continuing to grow as a player this summer while heading into September’s Prospect and Training Camps.
“I’ve been working hard this summer with training,” said Howden. “Just kind of trying to define little pieces of my game that will help me out next year to be a full player here.”