Drafted in the early rounds of two consecutive QMJHL entry drafts, Canadian center Shane Bowers chose instead to develop in the USHL, and preserve his ability to play in the NCAA, likely under direction from agent Pat Brisson. In so doing, Bowers has also committed to playing in the NCAA for the Boston Terriers in 2017-18, a decision that may have precipitated his fall to the mid-20s or second round in many mock drafts.
The Sharks, however, are in a position of patience this draft, and can well afford to wait a few years to develop a well rounded defensive center like Bowers.
While the consensus opinion on Bowers seems to be that of a player who is very good at many things, while not excelling noticeably at any of them, Bowers has exceptional skill in one of the harder areas to teach: skating. Bowers’ seems to excel in North-South play, and his acceleration and top speed will be hard for defensemen to match. His edge work is solid, but not exceptional, a phrase that will be used to describe Bowers’ game often.
Despite being a little light on his feet for his size, Bowers’ combination of lower body strength, hockey sense, and soft hands make him an effective playmaker in the offensive zone. Bowers is difficult to knock off the puck, strong in the offensive crease, and able to make difficult passes to create scoring opportunities.
Bowers is unlikely to be a top line center in the NHL, but with some time gaining strength and mass in a Boston University weight room, he could develop into a decent, defensively responsible #2. His skating style has been compared to Sidney Crosby, and his playing style to Jonathan Toews.
Additionally, if Bowers looks to be falling as far on the draft board as mock drafts indicate, the Sharks may be able to trade down a few spots and still acquire a middle-six center. For a team with a dearth of picks in the top rounds of the next few drafts, a move like this could make a lot of sense.
Name: Shane Bowers
DOB: July 30, 1999
Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia
2015-17: Waterloo (USHL)
2014-15: Halifax McDonalds (NSMMHL)
THW Consensus: 22
ISS Hockey: 27
Future Considerations: 31
NHL CSS: 16 (NA)
- Hockey sense
- Defensive play
Areas of Improvement
- Add muscle mass