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Oilers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Bowman Gets an Early Start

Monday, 08.31.2009 / 3:03 PM / 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.

Paul Branecky
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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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61