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2016 Draft Prospect Profile: Brett Howden

A big scoring center from the WHL. Sound familiar? Brett Howden's stock continues to rise as the 2016 Draft approaches.

Derek Leung/Getty Images

Brett Howden doesn't appear to like to do things the easy way.  While everyone focuses on speed, he prefers to slow the game down and create openings in the defense through puck movement.  While many with good scoring touch seek out the empty ice, Howden thrives on the gritty areas in front of the net.  Whatever he is doing, it seems to be working.  Here's the tale of the tape:

Position: C
Current Team: Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL
Date of Birth: March 29, 1998
Place of Birth: Oakbank, Manitoba  Canada
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 192 lbs
Shoots: Left

Howden is the younger brother of Quinton Howden, an alumnus of the Warriors and a current Florida Panthers prospect.  Despite following in his brother's footsteps, Brett has been quick to establish his own reputation, posting 64 points in 68 games in Moose Jaw this past season. That came on the heels of a more than respectable 22-24-46 showing in his rookie WHL campaign.

Finding the net is not an issue for Howden, who has climbed from #27 to #22 in the NHL Central Scouting Rankings and appears at #20 in the ISS Rankings. That makes him more likely to be a first round selection, though sliding to the second round is not out of the question.  Howden still struggles on the defensive end a bit, and his skating needs work.  He does have an albatross-like wingspan, which could be an asset on the penalty kill and in those battles below the goal line.

Good Fit in Columbus?

Sure, the Blue Jackets could use a scoring center from the WHL with a long reach.  Wait . . . didn't we have one of those?  Seriously, Howden would likely be on the club's radar, but unlikely to find a home in Columbus, absent a trade.  If the Blue Jackets engineer a trade for a second first round pick, they are likely aiming higher.  Much depends on whether they elect to keep the #34 pick in the 2nd round, or designate that pick as the compensation to Vancouver for John Tortorella.  They have until June 1 to decide whether the Canucks get the pick this year, 2017 or 2018,   My guess is that the club keeps the pick this year, in which case Howden could fall to that level.  It all depends upon what other deals are in the works.

Howden in Action