Colorado Avalanche defender Bowen Byram is now three games into his return to the Avs. This comes after missing almost three months with lingering concussion issues. He had been out since January 10 when he last played against the Seattle Kraken.
Now a week into his return with three games under his belt, Byram has built back a foundation for him to play on. He’s been tested with multiple different partners on the backend, something that Jared Bednar has been doing with his return. With this in mind, he isn’t taking the 20-year old out of the lineup anytime soon.
Jared Bednar said he wants to play Bowen Byram as much as possible before the end of the season to get him fully prepped for the postseason. #Avs— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) April 11, 2022
When he returned last Tuesday away to the Pittsburgh Penguins, he had this stand-out quote to say to the media after the morning skate:
"I know there's a lot of people thinking I shouldn't play or whatever, but to be quite honest, I feel lost not playing hockey. I'd rather be playing again and be at risk than be in the stands watching every game" -- Bo Byram. Full story on #Avs rookie D to come— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) April 5, 2022
Now, as a hockey player, you’d expect him to say such a quote. Of course, he will want to play, retain his position in the lineup, and not risk being left out of the team. It was an interesting thing to say, considering the young man had contemplated retirement due to these lingering concussion issues.
Speaking from personal experience, concussions suck. For me, it left me having a constant headache, feeling dizzy, and generally out of it. The three concussions I got in two years forced me from playing competitive soccer after high school (yes, I know, I was the soccer kid, the complete opposite of hockey, laugh all you want.) Nonetheless, the point still stands - concussions are no joke.
Byram certainly had to have understood this in his recovery despite his young age. He is mature and understanding of the situation he had to deal with. With the amount of research, data, and understanding we have of concussions nowadays Byram certainly had all that knowledge at his fingertips. If this had occurred even just 10-15 years ago, he would have been told to walk it off and play through the pain, struggles, and symptoms concussions bring.
Luckily for Byram, he has been able to control his comeback at his own pace and determine his next steps. He had been monitoring his progress and had daily check-ins with the Avalanche training staff, Byram told Conor McGahey before the game in Pittsburgh last week.
In the three games Byram has played in, he recorded an assist Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets and averaged 15-18 minutes of ice time a night. He’s been paired up and down the lineup with several different defensive pairings and getting better the more he’s on the ice.
Byram’s first home game after returning from concussion issues is coming up tonight against the Los Angeles Kings on the national stage. He will certainly feel the roar of the 18,000 strong inside Ball Arena and look to continue his ascent back to being a future NHL star defenseman.
We’re all with you Bo, and hope your journey to a full recovery and playing hockey track continues to go well. Go get ‘em, kid.