– Bowen Byram –
Vancouver Giants (WHL) | Left Defence | 2019 NHL Draft Eligible
Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada | June 13, 2001 | 6-foot-1, 191-pounds
Bowen Byram is a reliable, minute-munching defenceman who can be trusted to play in all situations, in all three zones. He skates incredibly well and loves to transition the game from defence to offence. He has the confidence to join the rush and earned some powerplay time with the Giants in 2017-18 as well, totalling six goals and 27 points in 60 games.
On the defensive side, Byram is an efficient player who maintains tight gaps along the wall and uses smart stick and body positioning to force opponents into the corners. Bowen played an imperative role on Team Canada’s top-pairing at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he played at a point-per-game clip.
- Two-Way Play
Byram is a relentless skater and a hound on the puck in all three zones. Most significantly, he remains very quick and agile when skating backwards, allowing him to retreat to his position even after pinching into the play. A smooth and effortless skater, Byram utilizes this ability to play an effective two-way game. He is not afraid to jump into the rush to create odd-man rushes and generate scoring chances.
On the back end, Byram’s mind is always on transitioning the play from the defensive zone to the offensive. He possesses a considerable amount of options to get the puck out of his zone, through slick passes, safe chips off the glass, or even rushing the puck through the neutral zone himself.
Byram has a small tendency to get ahead of himself in the defensive zone, looking to transition the play before turning the puck over in the first place. He sometimes gets caught being aggressive in attempt to retrieve the puck, leaving himself out of position defensively. As well, Byram occasionally chases the puck away from his net-front position, leaving an opposing winger wide open.
Of course, this tendency is a result of an offensive mindset, but there are occasions where Byram needs to think defence-first in order to make the smart play and hold down the fort with responsible positioning. A small weakness which will certainly be corrected with maturity and coaching.
Bowen Byram’s future in the NHL appears to forecast as a top-pairing, two-way defender who can chip in on the offensive side as well. He is an efficient transition player who moves the puck up ice with ease. Comparables include Morgan Rielly and Ryan Suter. Byram projects to be a Top-10 selection at the 2019 NHL Draft heading into the ’18-19 campaign.