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Bowman Gets an Early Start

Monday, 08.31.2009 / 3:03 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Bowman Gets an Early Start
Even though he’ll have to leave in a few days to attend the 2009 NHL Prospects Tournament in Michigan, Drayson Bowman still didn’t mind coming to Raleigh a little early.

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The 20-year-old forward prospect arrived from his home in Colorado over the weekend and began participating in the Hurricanes’ informal practices at the RecZone on Monday.  He feels that a week of skating with NHL players will prepare him for next week’s rookie tournament, which he in turn hopes will have him in a groove when the Hurricanes’ training camp begins on September 13.

“You go there to show that you can be the best at the junior level, or whatever that would be considered,” he said. “It’s going to give us a big jump coming into [the NHL] camp. You should go there and hopefully stand out and then get some confidence.”

It’s often difficult for young players such as Bowman to stand out at crowded NHL training camps, which is why the Hurricanes’ participation in this year’s prospects tournament presents a great opportunity. Players like Bowman, Zach Boychuk and Jamie McBain will be able to shine in a way they may not have been able to in previous years among a group of about 50 other players at the NHL camp.


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That could prove to be very significant as a number of Carolina’s top prospects will be competing with each other throughout this season, not necessarily for jobs right out of the gate on a deep NHL roster, but for call-up consideration at various points in the year.

“(The Hurricanes) have got a lot of guys, but there’s nothing I can do about that,” said Bowman. “I’ve got to come in here and make it so they can’t say no. I’m pretty comfortable with how I play the game, and no matter where I end up I’ll make the most of my opportunity.”

Bowman had an outside chance to make the team at last season’s camp, but was ultimately returned to his junior team in Spokane of the Western Hockey League, where he went on to score 47 goals in just 62 games. While he admittedly wasn’t sure how much he had left to prove at the junior level, the Canes’ third-round pick in 2007 (72nd overall) now feels he benefited from the extra year.

“Going back I really learned a lot more than I even originally thought,” he said. “I became a more complete player and learned how to play the game better than I had before.”

A mid-season appearance for the United States at last year’s World Junior Championship helped to accelerate that process, as both of Bowman’s WHL Player of the Week awards and his CHL Player of the Week honor came in the second half.

“Before I was trying to slow the play down and make cute little plays, but you realize that doesn’t quite work at this level,” he said. “Coming back after the World Juniors I tried to speed things up and do everything faster and harder like the way they do it here, and it ended up working out for me.”

Bowman and the rest of the Hurricanes’ top prospects begin tournament play this Sunday at 3 p.m. against the New York Rangers’ rookie team.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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