The Carolina Hurricanes’ first preseason game will be taking place tonight vs. Washington at the RBC Center, and all eyes will be focused on the young’uns gunning for a roster spot, including defensemen Casey Borer and Brett Carson and forwards Brandon Sutter and Drayson Bowman. ’Canes fans caught a sneak peak of Borer and Carson’s potential last season when they filled in during the great flu epidemic of 2008, and Sutter has his impressive pedigree working for him.
But who is this guy Drayson Bowman, who is currently practicing on a line with Eric Staal and Ray Whitney? His name has been everywhere, and while he probably won’t make the roster, there's a good chance we'll be seeing more of him this season.
Here’s a little background on Bowman (no relation to Scotty).
The ’Canes selected Bowman, a Grand Rapids, Mich. native, in the 3rd round, 72nd overall, in the 2007 entry draft as a result of some excellent foresight by the Carolina staff – at the time, the skinny 6-footer had 77 points to his name. The left winger spent most of the last four seasons with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, potting 11 goals and 9 assists in helping his team win the WHL championship. During the regular season, he racked up 82 points in 66 games, good for first on his team and 10th in the WHL.
He signed a three-year entry-level deal with the ’Canes in July, and while he’s a long shot to crack the roster, here’s to hoping he can at least crack a smile. Here’s his mug shot for the ’Canes:
(Smile, Bowman! You might be in the NHL this year!)
Most of the scouting reports say he has a strong offensive upside, and ’Canes director of player development Ron Francis - who has watched Bowman’s progress closely - clearly believes in him.
“Drayson had an outstanding season capped off by a strong performance in helping Spokane win the Memorial Cup,” Francis said in a July press release. “He is an excellent goal-scorer with good hockey sense and is capable of competing for a spot on our roster as early as this fall.”