The Vancouver Canucks have traded a fourth-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Madison Bowey. Bowey is one of two Blackhawks players to go to Vancouver before the trade deadline, with forward Matthew Highmore also heading to the Scotia North Division. The duo will undergo a mandatory quarantine period before they can begin to practice with the Canucks.
The Canucks will be Bowey’s fourth NHL team in five seasons. He has previously played for the Washington Capitals, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Blackhawks. He has played 156 career games in the NHL, scoring 40 points (five goals, 35 assists). He had major success as a junior player, playing in a Memorial Cup and competing on the international stage.
He’s Used To Playing In British Columbia
Bowey will not need to adjust to life in British Columbia. He has previously played in British Columbia, having spent five seasons with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. He earned a reputation as a powerful two-way defenseman and scored 172 points (58 goals, 114 assists) in 259 games, and he captained the Rockets for his last two seasons in Kelowna. He led the team to the Memorial Cup in 2015, leading all defensemen in points.
Bowey is considered one of the Rockets’ greatest defensemen ever. He broke the franchise record for goals by a defenseman, hitting 58 across five seasons, and he had consecutive 60-point seasons in his final two seasons. These statistics could have made him a first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, but he was selected in the second round instead and signed an entry-level contract with the Capitals.
He Has Won Gold Medals
Playing for Team Canada in different international tournaments earned Bowey his first taste of hardware. He won gold medals in the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Tournament, the 2013 World U18 Championship, and the 2015 World Junior Championship. He scored in the final of the 2013 U18 Championship to tie the game, with Canada defeating the United States 3-2 in overtime.
He Has Worked To Promote Diversity In Hockey
Bowey grew up idolizing Jerome Iginla and has said that the former Calgary Flames player is a role model for Black players. Playing for the Capitals helped Bowey to find a closer connection to his heritage, given that several Black players played for the team in the past. Bowey and Devante Smith-Pelley were members of the team that won the 2018 Stanley Cup, becoming the eighth and ninth Black hockey players to win the title.
Bowey has also played alongside other Black players while he was playing for the Detroit Red Wings. He formed a partnership with Trevor Daley and Givani Smith, and they spoke about their experiences with racism. He has also visited the Hockey Hall of Fame to learn about infamous Black NHL players and to prepare for the draft.
He Has Been Compared To Jay Bouwmeester
While preparing for the 2013 Draft, Bowey drew a comparison to former St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, as both players can defend with solidity. Analysts believed Bowey to be a “solid all-around blueliner” who has strong vision and an offensive aspect to his game. He has since proven to be comfortable as a two-way defenseman who can carry the puck between zones, and he is a patient decision-maker.
Canucks Move Is Good For Bowey’s Future
The Canucks will help Bowey develop in the long term due to his age and his determination to play for a long-term team. This will give the 25-year-old time to settle into a new team, and he aims to remain in Vancouver for many years in order to develop as a player. Playing for the Canucks over many seasons will also help him to find a permanent home, given that he has played for four teams in his brief career.
Bowey adds a lot to the Canucks. He has gained a winning mentality at the international level. He was a good leader as captain of the Kelowna Rockets and has the solidity of a hardened defenseman. Bowey could prove to be a good pick-up for the Canucks, and he can make Vancouver his home for many years to come.
James is a graduate of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), where he studied Broadcasting in the hope of becoming a sports reporter. He coincided his studies with a part-time job at Rogers Place and saw many memorable moments for the Edmonton Oilers.
James currently runs his own YouTube channel and its website, both called From The Anvil. He post regular content about West Ham United – his favourite soccer team – and has appeared on many soccer podcasts. He covers the Vancouver Canucks for The Hockey Writers.