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Colorado Avalanche Top 25 Under 25: #14 Shane Bowers

This year might just be the last chance for the young forward to play in the NHL.

Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey staff. Eight writers have ranked players under the age of 25 as of August 1, 2022 in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of value to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.

Bowers was acquired by the Colorado Avalanche in 2017 as part of the three-team Matt Duchene trade. A first-round Ottawa Senators pick in the same year, he spent two years at Boston College where he was selected to the Hockey East rookie team in March 2018. After two seasons in Boston where he finished third in points on the team, Bowers chose to turn pro and forgo the remainder of his collegiate career, joining the Colorado Eagles for the start of the 2019-20 season.

Despite the promise he showed while playing in the NCAA, he’s struggled to replicate this in the AHL. Contending with injuries has been a significant factor, as he missed the majority of the first half of the 2021-22 season due to injury. He’ll need to ensure he stays healthy if he’s going to improve his performance, as well as demonstrate why the Avalanche should value him over other young players.

The Avalanche re-signed Bowers to a one-year extension last week, indicating that they continue to believe he has value as a player. If he can start the next season with a strong performance, he does have a chance of finding a spot in the NHL. Colorado is a difficult team to crack, especially given their success last season in winning the Stanley Cup. They are also known for giving players a chance, and if a spot opens up on the bottom six, there is a chance Bowers could get called up. He will have to demonstrate that he is a strong enough player who can cope with the demands of the National Hockey League, and the expectations of a team who wants to win.

So far, he hasn’t improved his play enough to earn that spot. Given that he’s been signed for another year, perhaps the opportunity, as well as the pressure, will help him break out. If he does, he could be rewarded for it.

2022 Top 25 Under 25

#15: Colby Ambrosio

#16: Danila Zhuravlyov

#17: Andrei Buyalsky

#18: Matthew Steinburg

#19: Nikolai Kovalenko

#20 Trent Miner

#21: Keaton Middleton

#21: Wyatt Aamodt

#23: Taylor Makar

#24: Nathan Clurman

#25: Ivan Zhigalov