— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) July 19, 2019
Bowen Byram Signs With Colorado Avalanche
Byram was the highest selected defenseman in the 2019 NHL Entry draft. Byram is projected to be a top-pairing defender that will see extensive power playtime. The 6’1″, 192-pound defender had a tremendous year with the WHL Vancouver Giants as he scored 71 points in 67 regular-season contests and 26 points in 22 playoff games. His 26 goals led all WHL defenders. Byram was also productive on the international stage. He scored four points in five games for the Canadian U18 team at the 2018-19 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. Overall, Byram scored 98 points in 138 regular-season games over three years with Vancouver.
What This Means for the Avalanche and Byram
The dynamic youngster is expected to start the year back in the WHL with the Vancouver Giants. He has plenty of potential, but a year of seasoning is the best way to go at this stage. The Colorado defence is packed with more experienced contributors at the moment. There’s always a chance that an outstanding training camp and pre-season could push Byram up to the NHL level, but a year of lower-tier hockey will let him continue his development. Byram should be on the 23-man roster in 2020-21 when several other defenders are up for free agency.
When Byram does reach the NHL, he will pair with another outstanding Avalanche youngster such as Cale Makar or Sam Girard. The number of young defenders in the system gives Colorado head coach Jared Bednar flexibility when it comes to mixing and matching his talented blueliners. Bowen Byram will be part of one of the NHL’s most feared defensive groups for the next several seasons.
Embed from Getty Images