Shane Bowers won’t be reporting to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles after all.
Bowers, who was one of the top players available in this year’s QMJHL Entry Draft, was selected fourth overall by the Screaming Eagles. It was reported before the draft that he would only report to a select few markets – and Cape Breton wasn’t one of them. The Eagles drafted him anyways, he went on stage, put his jersey on and it sounded like he would report.
Yesterday, the Cape Breton Post broke news that Bowers won’t be reporting to Cape Breton after all, opting for the United States Hockey League. The Halifax native was a third round pick of the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL Futures Draft.
Screaming Eagles head coach Marc-Andre Dumont said that he was both surprised and disappointed that Bowers won’t be reporting, especially since he is a Nova Scotia native.
It’s the third straight year that Cape Breton’s top draft pick has not reported to the team, following Nicolas Roy in 2013 and Michael O’Leary last year.
It appears the Eagles aren’t interesting in trading the talented forward, which would allow them to take a compensation pick in next year’s draft.
“We have no intention of trading Shane – he is a top end player who could have a significant impact on our franchise, not just our team,” Dumont told the Post.
“We have no intention of trading Shane,” Dumont added in the Chronicle Herald. “He's a franchise player. We have to keep him and we will keep him.”
So there’s that. We’ll see what actually happens from here.
Bowers would have likely gone first overall to the Sea Dogs if Joe Veleno was not deemed “exceptional” by Hockey Canada. There have been rumours and speculation that the Dogs tried hard to move up in the draft to select Bowers.
Bowers registered 23 goals and 29 assists in 34 games with the Halifax McDonald’s of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League last season. He added 33 points in 17 playoff games.