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Giants’ Bowen Byram leads 50 WHL talents ahead of 2019 NHL Draft

CHL

 

All eyes will be on Bowen Byram at the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver.

With the first two picks of this year’s class essentially a shoo-in, the action starts at the next selection, where at third overall the Chicago Blackhawks could call the name of the Vancouver Giants blue-liner.

There’s certainly a lot to like about Byram, and his showing in the second half of the regular season in addition to the playoffs best illustrated that.

After wrapping up the 2018-19 campaign with 71 points, including a league-leading 26 goals, Byram went on a tear in the postseason, picking up a WHL-best 26 points as he guided the Giants to the Ed Chynoweth Cup Final.

“This kid gets it. Everything about Byram tells that story,” NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr told Sportsnet’s Starting Lineup. “He stepped into the league (with the Giants) and he helped take that team to the level that it’s at now. He’s a pretty complete package in that he can make plays in all zones, under pressure, in traffic, and from the blue line to the goal line, which is not something that a lot of defencemen can hone their craft at.”

The top ranked CHL player ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft, Byram sat fourth among North American skaters at the midterm but used a strong second half to climb the ranks, beginning in mid-January when he collected five points in a single game to set a Giants’ franchise record. In all, the second half saw the Cranbrook, B.C., native pick up 43 points in just 33 games, including at least one point in nine of the final 10 games of the 2018-19 season.

Byram is one of 14 WHL defenceman ranked by Central Scouting, with the next highest being Kelowna Rockets blue-liner Lassi Thomson, who comes in at 15th. He’s also one of two members of the Giants earmarked for this year’s draft alongside teammate and goaltender Trent Miner. The Giants are one of 18 WHL clubs with multiple players slated for the 2019 NHL Draft, with the Rockets leading the way with five up-and-comers.

WHL North American Skaters:

North American rank, position, name, CHL club

2 D BYRAM BOWEN VANCOUVER
3 C DACH KIRBY SASKATOON
5 C COZENS DYLAN LETHBRIDGE
10 C KREBS PEYTON WINNIPEG
15 D THOMSON LASSI KELOWNA
21 LW TRACEY BRAYDEN MOOSE JAW
25 RW LEASON BRETT PRINCE ALBERT
26 D ROBERTSON MATTHEW EDMONTON
32 D KORCZAK KAEDAN KELOWNA
34 LW BECKMAN ADAM SPOKANE
37 LW FOOTE NOLAN KELOWNA
44 C PROTAS ALIAKSEI PRINCE ALBERT
50 D FAIRBROTHER GIANNI EVERETT
66 C ZAYTSEV OLEG RED DEER
79 RW MUTALA SASHA TRI-CITY
81 C NEWKIRK REECE PORTLAND
94 D SCHMIEMANN QUINN KAMLOOPS
100 C TOPOROWSKI LUKE SPOKANE
117 LW MCCARTNEY BEN BRANDON
118 LW ALISTROV VLADIMIR EDMONTON
123 RW RYBINSKI HENRIK SEATTLE
126 RW BURZAN LUKA BRANDON
128 D LUDVIG JOHN PORTLAND
132 C KASTELIC MARK CALGARY
136 D MOBERG COLE PRINCE GEORGE
138 D VAN DE LEEST JACKSON CALGARY
142 C HRABIK KRYSTOF TRI-CITY
145 RW WILLIAMS JOSH EDMONTON
146 D LEE JAKE SEATTLE
164 D HORNING CONNOR SWIFT CURRENT
168 D BROWN MITCHELL TRI-CITY
170 RW KINDOPP BRYCE EVERETT
171 C KEMP BRETT MEDICINE HAT
175 C SWETLIKOFF ALEX KELOWNA
186 D SEDOV NIKITA REGINA
188 C BARLAGE LOGAN LETHBRIDGE
192 D MALYSJEV EMIL SASKATOON
199 C FIZER TARUN VICTORIA
202 RW KOPE DAVID EDMONTON
206 C MUIR COLE WINNIPEG

 

WHL North American Goaltenders:

North American rank, name, CHL club

2 SOGAARD MADS MEDICINE HAT
6 MINER TRENT VANCOUVER
7 GAUTHIER TAYLOR PRINCE GEORGE
12 WOLF DUSTIN EVERETT
17 ROSS RODDY SEATTLE
18 BASRAN ROMAN KELOWNA
21 ANDERS ETHAN RED DEER
22 MAIER NOLAN SASKATOON
27 MAKAJ JESSE WINNIPEG
30 PADDOCK MAX REGINA
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