Junior team: Moose Jaw (WHL)
Born: Calgary, Alberta
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 193 pounds
2015-16 stats: 68 games, 24 goals, 40 assists, 64 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 22 (North America)
Lowdown: Howden’s first full season in the Western Hockey League included impressive totals of 22 goals and 46 points. There was also a ghastly minus-31 attached. He was determined to become a two-way player, and the determination has paid off.
Howden was a respectable minus-7 this season for Moose Jaw and showed he has the skills and drive to be a two-way center. A gritty and intelligent player, Howden made good use of his NHL size at the junior level. He has solid skating and passing skills. He was captain for Moose Jaw, a rarity among players in just their second full season.
Howden lacks electricity, preferring to play a dependable straight-line game rather than make the extra play or pass. Part of that is a lack of top-end skill in any one department. He’s at his best when the pace is slow, and he does his best to keep the game that way.
He said it: “He’s been key in my career and is the reason why I am where I am today. He’s always been there for me and has been helping me every step of the way. He’s talked to me about the draft and has told me there would be stuff said on social media and stuff and to just not worry about it. He told me to just block that stuff out and work hard and focus on what’s on the ice.” – Howden to Yahoo Sports about his brother, Quinton, a Florida Panthers forward and former first-round pick.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 24-25 in First Niagara Center.