Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#29. Brett Howden – C, Moose Jaw (WHL)
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |
An agile, two-way workhorse and lauded character player, Howden’s combination of size, speed on the forecheck and commitment to the defensive zone make him a relatively easy projection as a capable middle-line worker at the NHL level once he gets a few more seasons of development under his belt.
Howden, whose brother Quinton was selected 25th overall by Florida in 2010, got his draft season started on the right foot in Moose Jaw, recording five three-point efforts, including his first WHL hat trick, in his first 25 contests.
It’s a simple, yet effective style that makes Howden a game-in and game-out success. Where other first-round candidates are more natural with their scoring and creativity at the current level of competition, Howden produced his 24 goals and 64 points of offense via hard work and decision-making instincts around the net. That scoring rate may not translate to the next level, but Howden has all the right tools to help his future team win big games.
Howden, who added another 15 points (4+11) in 10 playoffs games, went on to cement his status as a Day 1 pick by accumulating another five goals and eight points in six games at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres' pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).