Sunday, June 5, 2016

No guarantee Bowers joins Sea Dogs

One thing is certain with Shane Bowers – there’s currently no guarantee he’s coming to Saint John.

The Sea Dogs acquired the 32nd overall pick in Saturday’s draft from the Chicoutimi Sagueneens to select Bowers. The 16-year-old Halifax native was picked fourth overall by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in last year’s draft but opted to play with the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks instead.

Speaking to media at the draft, general manager Darrell Young said the team will try and convince Bowers to report to the Sea Dogs.

“To us he’s the best player in the draft, hands down,” Young said in a video posted on the Sea Dogs website. “We’ve got two to three years to try and het him here. If we get him here for a year - his 19-year-old year or his 18-year-old year - it doesn’t matter. He’ll be a player that can come in, play right away, make an impact right away and help us win.”

Young confirmed to Halifax Mooseheads broadcaster John Moore that there is currently no deal in place to bring Bowers in immediately.
The Sea Dogs GM told the Chronicle Herald that, “I could see him going to Waterloo for the (2016-17 season), and then possibly coming (to Saint John) the next year.”

Young told the Telegraph-Journal (paywall) that some of the selling points will be Saint John’s coaching staff, the current cycle the team is in, its pro environment and the possibility of hosting the Memorial Cup in 2019.

Bowers had 15 goals and 18 assists in 56 games with the Black Hawks last season. He added two assists in nine playoff games. He is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.

“He’s got great offensive skill but he’s also got great character,” said Young. “He’s a leader, he’s a winner - he’s won everywhere he’s been. I coached him in lacrosse and he was a winner there.”

The USHL is seemingly developing more and more NHL caliber players each year. Bowers will no doubt get several offers to play Division I US college hockey, which will make the Sea Dogs’ job of attracting the forward even more challenging.

Photo: QMJHL

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