2016-17 Team: Waterloo Black Hawks (#15)
Date of Birth: July 30, 1999
Place of Birth: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Ht.: 6’1.25” Wt.: 178 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: Top prospect eligible for 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
- NHL Central Scouting: 16th
- Hockeyprospect.com: 20th
- ISS Hockey: 23rd
- McKeen’s Hockey: 27th
- Future Considerations: 31st
Skaters with a plethora of elite tools are rarely overlooked by modern NHL scouts. The more skills the better, and Shane Bowers has a variety of talents, projecting the Waterloo Black Hawks center to be a first-round pick during the 2017 NHL Draft.
Bowers’ all-around play this season guided the Black Hawks into the Clark Cup conference finals. During the regular season, Bowers collected 18 goals and 57 points in 47 outings. His international experience includes dressing for Team Canada at the 2015 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Known for his ability to handle the puck down low, in cycles and setting up teammates, Bowers’ lower-body strength and balance make it a challenge for defenders to knock him off the puck. On cycles, he maintains leverage by consistently keeping his body between the defender and puck.
Bowers’ physical presence was felt between the hash marks, especially when he utilized his quick hands and a swift wrist shot to create scoring chances. His on-ice awareness and vision created opportunities for his Black Hawks teammates and the skills should continue to develop at the next level.
A responsible defender who rarely gets caught out of position, Bowers’ scouting report is not limited by his offensive prowess.
Bowers never appeared concerned with going the unconventional route of playing in the USHL after twice being drafted in the QMJHL (2015, first round and 2016, second round). He’s signed to compete at Boston University next season.
NHL Draft Projection
Well-scouted throughout the regular season and Clark Cup playoffs, Bowers should be selected mid-late first round. While his frame is still a bit thin, Bowers’ versatile game should attract the attention of general managers who covet adding organizational depth at center.
“Waterloo’s Shane Bowers is a workhorse and is very effective around the net. He reads plays well and is very effective on rebounds, often positioned at the right position in front of the net to finish off plays.” -Dennis Schellenberg, Hockey Prospectus
“As one scout told me: ‘There’s nothing fancy, but there’s a lot to like.’ Bowers plays a 200-foot game and is good on draws. A north-south player who isn’t shy out there.” – Jeff Marek, Sportsnet
- Hockey IQ
- Well-rounded game
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Becoming more creative
- Gaining body mass
Scouts appear divided on Bowers’ long-term role, either at center or wing. Some believe Bowers will peak as a two-way, second-line center. Others suggest he will plateau as a grinding third- or fourth-line forward.
A solid work ethic and leadership qualities enhance his drafts status.
Risk – 2/5, Reward 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 6/10, Defense – 8/10
Bowers has compiled an impressive list of individual honors the past four seasons. He was a NSMBHL Rookie All-Star Team member in 2012-13. The next season, he was a NSMBHL first team All-Star and the league’s top forward after producing 33 goals. The 2014-15 NSMBHL Most Valuable Player, Bowers paced the league with 23 goals and 52 points. In 2015-16, he was named to the USHL All-Rookie Second Team.
- The Terrier Hockey Fan Blog: Blue chip center Shane Bowers commits for 2017
Jeff Hawkins is a career sportswriter who has collected eight industry awards, including two Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) honors. Hawkins has served as a beat writer for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and UHL’s Adirondack IceHawks. A husband and father, Hawkins enjoys live music, hiking, New York-style pizza with Dr. Pepper, and writing with his golden Labrador retriever “mutt” cuddled around his feet.