Getting To Know Brett Howden

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Just after the trade deadline at 3 PM came to pass the other day, Rangers fans were eagerly awaiting if anyone from the team was going to be dealt. Not too long after the deadline, news broke out that the Rangers traded captain Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller. The pieces in return were Vladislav Namestnikov, Libor Hajek, 2018 first round pick, a conditional second round pick and a forward named Brett Howden. That’s where we’ll take off from here.

Who is Brett Howden?

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Born in Oakbank, Manitoba, Brett Howden, brother of Quinton, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry draft with the 27th overall pick. Before the NHL draft that year, Howden netted 24 goals and 40 assists in 68 games for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL. He finished fourth on the team in goals and points that season.

Howden also tallied an extra four goals and eleven assists in fifteen playoff games, during which he had four-straight multi-point games in the first round against the Prince Albert Raiders. Howden represented Canada in two IIHF World Junior tournaments, winning Bronze at the 2015 U18 tournament in Switzerland and winning gold in this year’s tournament in Buffalo.

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What should I expect from this prospect?

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Howden stands at 6’2″ and clocks in at 194 pounds. He is a big body down the middle with good speed and tremendous hockey sense. Although he may not be as flashy as other prospects, he is competent in all three zones, with an added edge of toughness the Rangers have been lacking for quite some time. He also seems to possess a bit of what they call a “scoring touch”, which is always good to see for a projected second or third line NHL center. Although he might not be projected to be a top line center, he certainly can fit the role of a second or third line checking center who can score. A tough, big bodied player with skill and smarts is something that the Rangers saw and went after to help bolster the rebuild and plan ahead.

“I think my size will be a big factor,” added Howden, who is 6-foot-2, 193 pounds. “I think my ability that I have to play with the puck will help as well. I have pretty good vision and like to make plays. I think I bring a 200-foot game to the table. I think that’s something that’s very big in my game.”

“He’s got size, has got a chance to play in all areas, good defensive centerman, play on the power play, kill penalties, really good hockey sense,” Yzerman said. “We feel really good about getting him where we picked.”

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A strong, two-way player with great skating ability and strong hockey IQ along with size to boot. It’s clear what the Rangers are looking for down the middle, and one of those things is size to compliment speed and skill. As said before, this was something the Rangers have been lacking for quite some time. Howden clearly shows signs of filling that role for the Rangers and hopefully, we can see him in Ranger blue in the not too distant future. I’m incredibly excited about Howden and the potential he brings to the Blueshirts.

Here are some clips of Howden in action: