Colorado Avalanche Prospect Profile: The Promise of Shane Bowers

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JUNE 29: Colorado Avalanche forward Shane Bowers, #67, skates during the Av's Development Camp at the Family Sports Center June 29, 2018. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - JUNE 29: Colorado Avalanche forward Shane Bowers, #67, skates during the Av's Development Camp at the Family Sports Center June 29, 2018. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

Colorado Avalanche prospect Shane Bowers is a promising young player who helps make the future look bright for the team.

Colorado Avalanche prospect Shane Bowers is one of several players hoping to make it to the big team next year. He’s got a lot of competition, but it’s always possible he can make a push.

So, who is this prospect? Well, he’s a young man as they all are — he doesn’t even turn 20 until the end of this month. He’s a left-shooting center whom the Ottawa Senators selected #28 in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Bowers was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia — that’s right, just up the road from Yarmouth, home of our own Ryan Graves. Oh, wait, don’t we have another Nova Scotian on the team? (Just kidding — of course our superstar, Nathan MacKinnon, is from just over the bridge, Cole Harbour.)

Interestingly, though hockey in Canada is such a powerhouse, Bowers elected to join the USHL. He played two seasons for the Waterloo Black Hawks.

Naturally, while playing in the USHL, Bowers had to live with a billet family. He stayed with a friend of his coach at the time, P.K. O’Handley. According to O’Handley, the billet family adored him:

"“Max, his billet brother, thinks Shane hung the moon.”"

What’s more, his billet parents would travel to Boston to watch him play at Boston University.

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Because the USHL is a strictly amateur league, he was able to play college hockey. That’s exactly what Bowers did. He spent two years playing for BU.

In that time, he has a fantastic freshman season, earning 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 40 games. He struggled a bit the following season, earning 21 points 11 goals, 10 assists) in 37 games. After that season, he signed his entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

Bowers came to Colorado as part of the Matt Duchene trade. Indeed, according to The Athletic, Colorado had already been looking at him as a potential second-round pick — they had the #32 selection that year. However, Ottawa snapped him up before then.

Hepple acknowledged at the time:

"“We liked him his draft year. That was the one thing. We knew we weren’t going to get him where we were picking. He was going to be gone before our second pick. But we liked him.”"

What scouts were seeing in Bowers is what O’Handley described as an ability to fly on skates so great it reaches out and grabs people. He elaborated:

"“When you look at how he skates and his knee bend, for a big guy, his knee bend is incredible. The command of that is incredible.”"

That strength of playing continued into his college career. His coach at BU,  Albie O’Connell, said of Bowers:

"“He understands where he needs to be to get the puck. Obviously, because good players want the puck, and he wants it, he puts himself in a spot to get it. … He’s got a good knowledge of the game. A good understanding. At the end of it all, he’s only 19 years old. He’s got a bright future.”"

Even Cale Makar, who played against Bowers when he himself was at UMass, was impressed:

"“I looked him up a little bit and figured he was something pretty special. Then when I got the opportunity to play him, I could tell they got a pretty good player in that trade.”"

Well, that’s all some impressive descriptions and high praise. So, let’s take a moment to look at some Shane Bowers highlights:

Bowers signed his entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche on March 29, 2019, pretty much as soon as his sophomore hockey season ended.

He joined the Colorado Eagles pretty quickly and played four regular-season games with them and then four playoff games. He earned an assist in one of the playoffs games.

I think there’s no question Shane Bowers will have to develop his professional game more. He’ll certainly spend most if not all of next season with the Eagles.

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However, it’s good to see the Colorado Avalanche have some solid young prospects in the system. It’s depth like this in the system that makes the future bright for the team.