The historic 2018-19 season from Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants continued on Saturday morning, as he took home the CHL Top Prospect Award at the CHL Awards held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“It’s a huge honour. There’s so many great players in the league, so many good prospects. To be named as one of the best is pretty special. It’s definitely a humbling moment for me and my family for sure.” Byram had to say about winning the prestigious award.
Byram becomes the first Vancouver Giant to receive the national award and the first from the WHL since 2016-17 when Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings won the honour prior to being drafted second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers.
“It’s pretty cool to look at some of the names like Nolan Patrick, guys like that, guys that are good NHLers now. It might add a little pressure but all in all, it’s pretty cool to get that award.”
Giants fans were lucky enough to watch the top-rated prospect in all of the Canadian Hockey League, recently being ranked the #2 North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings, behind only Jack Hughes who many have as the consensus first overall pick in the upcoming draft in Vancouver.
Byram led the entire CHL in goals by a defenceman with 26 to go with 45 assists for 71 points in 67 games. The 26 goals is also a new Giants franchise record for goals by a defenceman, passing Kevin Connauton’s previous record of 24.
The native of Cranbrook, BC didn’t stop there with the record-breaking.
Back in March, he set a new WHL single-season record for overtime goals with his sixth in an overtime win over Tri-City. The previous record was held by both Eric Fehr (Brandon, 2004-05) and Deven Sideroff ( Kamloops, 2016-17) at five.
Vancouver had their best playoff run in 12 years, losing in Game 7 overtime to Prince Albert in the WHL Final and Bowen Byram led the way for the Giants all playoffs.
He became the first defenceman in WHL history to lead the WHL in playoff scoring with 26 points (8G, 18A) in 22 games.
Byram will be participating in the annual NHL combine that starts on June 1st in Buffalo, New York which will be a good chance to familiarize himself with NHL teams that are looking to select him on June 21st in Vancouver.
“I’m really excited, it’ll be a good time to meet with some teams, meet some more pretty cool guys throughout the National Hockey League. Kind of a quick turnaround from the playoffs so I haven’t had much time to regroup and get ready to go but I’m sure it’ll be fun.” Byram said about heading into the combine.
With the draft less than a month away, the excitement is surely setting in for the Giants’ third overall pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.
“It’ll be great. I’m sure it’ll be a fun time for me and my family, I’ve been waiting all year for it kind of. So now that it’s getting so close it’s pretty surreal, but it’s out of my control what’s going to happen so I’ll just sit back and enjoy it.”