The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey community. Eleven writers and 480 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2019 in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
The Matt Duchene trade is the deal that keeps on giving. Twenty-year old forward Shane Bowers was drafted in the first round by the Ottawa Senators in June 2017, only to be traded to the Colorado Avalanche in November 2017. Since then, Bowers had opted to honor his commitment to Boston University and play his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Terriers.
Many were expecting Bowers to return to BU for his junior year, but in March he signed an Amateur Tryout Contract to play for the Colorado Eagles and then his Entry Level Contract (3 years, $3.22 million) went into effect on July 1.
Over his two seasons in Boston, Bowers played 77 games, scoring 28 goals and recording 25 assists. Last season, the team finished 5th in the Hockey East, losing of course to Cale Makar and the University of Massachusetts- Amherst. His 11 goals placed him third on the team, and Bowers was named the top performer in the Hockey East three times.
Bowers only played eight games with the Eagles, four during the regular season, and four in the Calder Cup Playoffs. He took six shots but did not score at all during the regular season. He recorded his first professional point with an assist in the Eagles’ last game against the Bakersfield Condors (the Edmonton Oilers affiliate).
In addition to playing a full college season, plus eight AHL games, the Halifax native participated in the World Juniors tournament as a member of Team Canada, playing in five more games. Bowers recorded two assists, and played along several other NHL prospects.
The Canadian participated in his second Avalanche prospect development camp in June, impressing coaches, and teammates. At just 20, he was a veteran of the program, but still enjoyed playing with future Avs teammates, especially 18-year-old Bowen Byram. He said he felt more comfortable this time, but still had a lot to learn and was trying to take in everything the coaches were telling him.
Next weekend, Bowers and 2019 first round draft pick Byram will play at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Arlington, VA. They will join 2019 draft picks Kirby Dach and Jack Hughes for the game.
Bowers stock is certainly on the rise this season. Despite falling from no. 10 to no. 11 in our rankings, he is definitely a player who can impact the Avs this season. He might need a bit more time in the AHL before he is fully ready for NHL action, but his development won’t take much longer.