Howden has a high fantasy floor based on his strong effort alone and his willingness to attempt any challenge a coach or management could possibly put him through. His shot is rather weak but he will be a good middle-six playmaker.
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January 2020 – Considering the overall performance of the Rangers, Howden has proven to be a satisfactory bottom-six forward in the early goings of his career. His lack of experience against top-tier opponents makes it difficult to envision a world where Howden exceeds his current rate of production before the end of his current contract. Long term, the 21-year-old center has the potential to become a more productive player, but he’ll forever be a more valuable multi-category option than purely points. Brayden Olafson
February 2019 – After an extraordinarily hot start with the Rangers as an surprise prospect to make the cut out of camp, Howden’s production has tapered off since the end of November. The 20-year-old has struggled to get points on the board in 2019, which has impacted his opportunity significantly. Howden went from playing over a minute on average of powerplay time per game in the first half to almost none since the half way point of the season. Despite the disappointing production, Howden’s defensive game has remained intact and the team is still deploying him regularly at 5-on-5. It’s too early to start having second thoughts about him in a keeper league, but he should be long off of your roster in single season contests. Brayden Olafson
October 2018 – In a shocking turn of events, Howden played himself onto the Rangers opening night roster for the 2018-19 campaign. With consistent offensive production in preseason, coupled with his more-than-satisfactory puck protection capabilities, the former Lightning prospect beat out Lias Andersson for the final roster spot with the Blueshirts. In his first five regular season contests, Howden has logged most of his ice time alongside Mats Zuccarello and either Chris Kreider or Pavel Buchnevich – either way a recipe for offensive success. Two weeks into the season he’s on pace for a 50-point rookie slate, and judging by David Quinn’s comments on the rookie, he has a bright future with the organization. Brayden Olafson
February 2018 – Howden was apart of a major deadline deal with the New York Rangers. The former first round pick has had an extremely strong season with Moose Jaw of the WHL recording 22 goals and 58 points in 38 contests. His 1.53 points-per-game currently sits ninth in the league. Howden played a big role in helping Team Canada win gold at the most recent World Junior Championships. The soon-to-be 20-year-old will turn pro for 2018-19 and has legitimate top six upside and is a very safe prospect. Cam Robinson
January 2018 – Howden capped off the 2018 World Junior Championship with a gold medal, and finished second in points among Canadians with three goals and four assists. Although Howden entered the tournament earmarked for a depth role on the team, he quickly proved his leadership capabilities and offensive worth, especially by capitalizing regularly on special teams for the eventual gold medalists. Howden will return to the CHL’s second best team in Moose Jaw where 5-11 Brayden Burke (undrafted) and 5-8 Jayden Halbgewachs (undrafted) have been holding down the fort. The Warriors captain returns as third on the team in points per game played, and will certainly help to peak their offensive output heading into the second half of the season. Brayden Olafson
October 2017 – Touted as a dark horse to crack the lineup entering Lighting training camp this fall, Howden has since been returned to captain the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL. The talented pivot rejoins a talented bunch of relatively young players in Major Junior who will have their sights set on contending in the Eastern Conference. He’s also joined by fellow Lightning prospect and newcomer to North America, Oleg Sosunov. This will be Howden’s final junior campaign before he enters the professional leagues and he’ll likely be in the midst of heavy competition with other prospects to immediately earn what spots will become available. Despite suspicion that he could have made the Lightning this fall, having AHL eligibility next year will likely give the team less motivation to rush him into an NHL role in 2018. He’ll have to leave no room for doubt from now until next October if he’d like to avoid time in the AHL. Brayden Olafson
June 2017 – After seeing the positive development of former Moose Jaw captain, Brayden Point, the Lightning’s expectations for the more projectable, and current Warriors captain have only grown. Brett Howden’s all around responsible play has earned him a seat on Hockey Canada’s 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase camp roster, where he’ll hope to emulate the success of 2015 Lightning third-round pick Anthony Cirelli, and earn a place on Team Canada’s final roster. Howden’s size should lend itself to his advantage in that regard, however, the 2016 first-round pick will need to put a conscious focus on making small adjustments in tight to reap the offensive fruit of his hard work. Brayden Olafson
April 2017 – Howden’s Moose Jaw Warriors were eliminated from the WHL playoffs in seven games by the Swift Current Broncos. He immediately joined the Syracuse Crunch for their final push to the AHL playoffs. The 2016 first round pick just turned 19 and will be eligible to return to the Warriors next season, however this audition with the Crunch could be pivotal in determining if the center will be given the opportunity for more than just pre-season action with the Lightning. In two games with the Crunch, Howden has scored one goal which was a tip from the right circle on the power play. Keeping his defensive game intact will be just as important to this audition as his offence. Brayden Olafson
February 2017 – The Moose Jaw Warriors’ captain signed his entry-level contract with the Lightning at the end of December after a smooth return from injury in the WHL. His 180-foot game could prove to be a valuable trait as he makes a push to the pros. Besides remaining consistent in his defensive growth, Howden has made a significant jump in offensive production since being drafted and will be a major factor in the Warriors’ playoff push. Depending on the results of the expansion draft, the former first-rounder could challenge the odds at training camp and earn an extended look to open the 2017-18 campaign.
June 2016 – Howden was the Lightning’s first-round selection in the 2016 NHL draft. A valued two-way center with the Moose Jaw Warriors, with power and skill he was able to help the Warriors reach the WHL playoffs. Howden was a major impact during the post-season, scoring 15 points in 10 games. His presence is noticeable on the ice due to his huge effort and ability to create plays. His left-handed shot is not the most powerful and won’t beat the goalie cleanly. Another season in the WHL with the Warriors will allow him to develop his scoring touch and build his frame. Max Marko