NHL 2016 Draft Radar: Brett Howden

As the draft approaches, players are trying to figure out whether it be through websites or scouts, where exactly they fit in, in the upcoming draft. No player seems to vary more on draft boards than Brett Howden. The young center has a deft scoring touch and some skill, where does he fit in on our draft board?

NHL CS Ranking

22nd among North American skaters

The Stats

At almost a point per game pace in the Western Hockey League, Howden had himself a nice season. On a fairly average team he did well during their playoff run and ended his season on a high note. The truly exciting part of his play was what he was able to do on Canada’s U18 WJC team. At a point per game pace, he was able to fair quite well against some of the best in the game.

Eye Test

Paul Berthelot of Buckeye State Hockey got an opportunity to take in one of Howden’s games this year:

“Howden is a big (6’3) centre for the Warriors. He plays on the second line behind Brayden Point. He played in all situations, scoring a power play goal. He was alone at the side of the net and got a one-time pass. He has a solid wrist shot which has helped him to score 18 goals this season. He was ranked as the 27th skater in North America by NHL Central Scouting.”

Chris Dilks of SB Nation had this to say about Howden and his pro prospects:

“Howden is a player that should provide some value even if he isn’t able to improve enough offensively to be a top six forward at the NHL level. His compete level, combined with his size and ability to play up the middle would make him valuable even in a third or fourth line role, with the upside of potentially being a second line center at his best.”

Does he fit on the Red Wings?

Much like Grundstrom in my latest profile piece, he is still not a finished product so time in the minors will benefit him. He has some real scoring potential and could end up being a steal if developed properly. He is the type of player that teams look at and think they can outsmart other teams by picking him. He is right at the first round/second round border. I could see him being picked in the second round early as teams try to solidify the center position. I doubt the Red Wings pick him in either round but could be an interesting pick if they trade down from their current spot.

Player Oddity

Other than having a brother who plays for the Panthers, he apparently lives in a palace already.