Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game but they create opportunities for others to get their chance to show they can contribute in the NHL. It appears that Shane Bowers will finally get that chance as the Colorado Avalanche announced last night that Bowers will get called up in advance of tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators.
The 28th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft did not have an easy road to get to this point as Bowers spent two years at Boston University and then three years playing through his Entry Level Contract before hitting waivers at the conclusion of training camp this fall. But Bowers persisted and had a productive start to his fourth season with the Colorado Eagles posting six points including two goals in 10 games with an increased role on the team for a much-deserved first recall to the big club. Assuming he gets into a game, Bowers will be the final first-round selection from that 2017 draft to make his NHL debut.
That wasn’t all for the transactions as Sampo Ranta was brought up to the Avalanche in the morning ahead of practice. He too received his first recall of the season and should he suit up will be the first in the NHL since his ten-game regular-season debut to begin last season. Ranta has settled into a role of a forechecker with the Eagles but scored his first goal of the season last weekend. Both forwards in Ranta and Bowers will likely contribute on the fourth line as Jared Bednar keeps searching for the right fit on that line.
Both of these transactions in addition to the Martin Kaut re-recall earlier in the week certainly feel like a new approach to utilizing internal options from the development system. It’s tough not to wonder if new Avalanche Assistant General Manager and Eagles General Manager Kevin McDonald are starting to influence these decisions. It also makes sense to see what these players have to give before looking outside the organization at trade targets.
As always the situation is still fluid as there’s salary cap and Long Term Injured Reserve considerations to take into account with transactions to come. For now, it appears all three of Kaut, Ranta, and Bowers are going to get an opportunity to prove they can help the Avalanche which is very exciting and a long time coming.