© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
An exceptionally gifted defenceman that knows his strengths and plays by them. He possesses elite skating ability and is at his best when playing high energy, up-tempo hockey. He handles the puck well and is able to keep control of it under pressure.
He makes calculated decisions that consistently shift momentum in his team’s favor. His creativity in the offensive zone speaks to his confidence in his ability to be a game-changer. Defensively astute, he actively takes away lanes and limits options for the oncoming opposition.
All-in-all, Bowen Byram is a workhorse that understands how to take advantage of turnovers and shift the pace of play in his favor in all three zones
Byram is the top defenseman in this year’s class by a country mile. He’s a solid two-way defender who happened to destroy the WHL with an excellent season that saw him become the first defenseman to ever lead the WHL playoffs in scoring. He was the main driver for a Giants team that was lacking in star power compared to some of their counterparts but Byram was the linchpin as a do-it-all rearguard.
He’s an exceptional skater whose first few steps aren’t as explosive as the MacKinnon and Makars of the world but those are two freaks of nature. He’s an exceptional skater in his own right and his ability to generate speed through the neutral zone is one reason he’s able to generate as much offense as he is. He plays at a high pace and uses a wide array of advanced offensive skills to generate offense from a great shot, good vision, and a high hockey IQ.
As a defender, he’s not afraid to engage physically but it certainly isn’t his bread and butter. He’s great with his stick but his reads are what really what shine to me. The best defense is stopping the offense before they ever actually get going and Byram excels at doing just that.
Colorado’s blue line is surprisingly deep in the NHL today and with Conor Timmins and Nicolas Meloche also hanging around, you have two more quality prospects to compete with Byram for future ice time. Because Byram’s ceiling is higher than everyone except Makar’s, it’s conceivable to see Colorado take him at 4 and groom him to be a long-term Erik Johnson replacement. He would give them extremely rare high-end depth on a blue line that is already in the upper echelon of the NHL.
Ranked #6 by TSN/McKenzie
Ranked #5 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #6 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS