Team: Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
Year GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2016-2017 60 22 29 51 20 14
In today’s prospect preview, we will examine Shane Bowers – center for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. I know, the term “Black Hawks” is equivalent to a swear word in Nashville, but Bowers is a pretty good player, so don’t hold it against him.
Shane Bowers is a dependable two-way forward with some offensive upside. He possesses the ability, with proper coaching, to develop into a good scoring forward at the NHL level. His strength lies with his ability to find rebounds and burying them – think Patric Hornqvist (yes, I know, too soon). Bowers displays a willingness to crash the net and fight for the greasy goals, which is definitely something the Preds could use more of as a team.
His effectiveness on both the power play and penalty kill can be an asset for a team that is losing Phil Housley to the Buffalo Sabres. He has the versatility to play all three forward position, similar to Freddy Gaudreau and Calle Jarnkrok. Bowers is a competitor and will battle anyone for the puck. He can be great in the face-off circle as well; he usually wins most face offs.
Nashville has pretty good center depth with Vladislav Kamenev, Yakov Trenin and Tyler Moy down in Milwaukee. The problem is none of them are viewed as an elite, No. 1 center (Kamenev is viewed more of as a No. 2). I am not saying that Bowers is a true No. 1, but drafting at the back end of the first round, every pick can be a wild card.
Bowers is not an explosive forward, and although he can produce points, he won’t blow anyone away. He lacks the puck-handling skills and deking ability to fool many people. One of the most vexing proponents of Bowers’ game is his tendency to be a hot-and-cold player. He has games where he will light up the scoreboard, then seemingly disappear for nights at a tie. He’s a bit undersized and could benefit from hitting the weight room and adding some muscle.
Bowers has the potential to be a future top-six forward. He has the scoring ability, he just needs to work on his playmaking and puck-handling skills.
What they’re saying about Bowers:
“Steady improvement with all-around game, responsible center. Looks to lead the team when it’s needed the most with good character” – Dennis MacInnins, Director of Scouting
“Two-way, responsibly sound center. Makes the smart play nine times out of 10 but has a tendency to force things when he gets frustrated. Needs to spend time focusing on physical strength in the o season, will help him win more battles along the wall and avoid getting muscled o the puck. He is a guy that could t a few different roles at the next level.” – Future Considerations Scout
“Doesn’t have one thing that stands out about his game, but is good at a number of things. Plays the full rink and brings a strong work ethic to every game. As one scout told me: ‘There’s nothing fancy, but there’s a lot to like.’ Bowers plays a 200-foot game and is good on draws. A north-south player who isn’t shy out there.” – Jeff Marek, Sportsnet
“Shane Bowers is a workhorse and is very effective around the net. He reads plays well and is very effective on rebounds, often positioned at the right position in front of the net to finish off plays.” – Dennis Schellenberg, Hockey Prospectus
NHL Comparison: Zemgus Girgensons
Draft projection: Late first – early second