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Prospect Update: Ethan Bowen
By Thomas Harrington
A seventh round pick from 2020, forward Ethan Bowen completed his final season with the Chilliwack Chiefs in the BCHL and will start playing NCAA hockey next year at the University of North Dakota.
Bowen’s final season with Chilliwack was a severely shortened one because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. His season didn’t begin until April and he ended up playing in only 19 games. However, he recorded 11 goals and 21 points in those 19 games, leading his team in goals and points. He was also tied for 18th in the league in both goals and points. Despite the shortened season, Bowen played very well.
In his three seasons in the BCHL, Bowen’s points-per-game rose from .672 to .756 and finally to 1.105. That kind of offensive progression is exactly what you want out of a young player. The BCHL isn’t exactly known for producing NHL stars, but Anaheim did have three players on their roster during the 2020-2021 season who played in the BCHL: Josh Manson, Danton Heinen, and Derek Grant. Other NHL stars from the BCHL include Duncan Keith, Jamie Benn, and Carey Price. Hopefully Bowen can follow these players and make his way to the NHL someday.
This coming season, Bowen will be a freshman in the NCAA at a very good program. Freshmen usually don’t get prime minutes, so I’m not expecting him to duplicate his offensive success from last season. Instead, what I’d like to see is for Bowen to play in most of North Dakota’s games and put up some points. If he ends up playing in every game, that will be a great sign of Bowen’s development. It’s going to be in his second and third seasons at North Dakota where I expect him to shoulder more of the team’s offensive load.
Bowen is still a number of years from turning pro, and is several years away from having a shot at the NHL. Anaheim likes to let their NCAA prospects play a number of years in college, so I anticipate Bowen getting three or four years of college hockey before signing his entry-level deal and joining the Gulls.
Given how far out that is, it’s hard to say exactly how many years it will be before he has a legitimate shot at making his NHL debut, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that was at least four or five years away. Bowen also might never even get there, few seventh round picks do. However, the Ducks didn’t have a seventh round pick when the 2020 NHL Entry Draft started, and they made sure to pick one up so they could draft Bowen. The Ducks clearly like this kid, which will hopefully be a good sign for his future.
Bowen is currently unsigned and will be until he’s done with his college hockey career. When he’s done at North Dakota, and the Ducks are happy with his development, expect him to be signed to a standard entry-level contract. However, if the Ducks don’t think he progressed enough over the next four years in the NCAA, they could let his rights expire and he could become a college free agent.
The next prospect update will be on Matt Berkovitz.
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July 20th, 2021