Howden comes back with chance to prove his worth

For Brett Howden, the opportunity to prolong his stay on the Golden Knights comes quite early on this season. The former first round pick is entering the 2022-23 season with it being his last under contract as he is slated to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. He is expected to battle with Michael Amadio for a spot on the team’s fourth line.

Last season, the Golden Knights acquired Howden from the New York Rangers in exchange for Mic DeSimone and a 2022 fourth round pick that later turned into Noah Laba of the USHL’s Lincoln Stars. With the Golden Knights, the Calgary, Alberta-native appeared in 47 games and collected 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists) with 12 PIM. His season ended prematurely when he suffered a neck injury during an awkward crash into the boards in a game against the Nashville Predators in March.

This is a part of a series of profile features on the complete Golden Knights roster heading into the 2022-23 season.

The Brett Howden File
6’3 | 200 | Shoots: Left | Center
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta | DOB: 03/29/88
Draft Status: 27th Overall | 1st Round (2016) – Tampa Bay Lightning
How Acquired: Trade | Under Contract Through: 2022-23
’22-23: $1.5M 

Brett Howden

Nov 16, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Brett Howden (21) warms up before a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Questions linger for Brett Howden in the upcoming season

The main evaluation for Brett Howden will come during training camp where it is expected that he will battle for some ice time on the third or fourth line with Amadio, Jake Leschyshyn and Nicolas Roy. There is no question that there is a roster spot for the left-hander. In the grand scheme of things, the potential is there, so is the drive to succeed. In the most likely scenario, Howden will be placed on the fourth line on a rotation with Amadio.

In terms of production, if he lives up to his potential, 2022-23 should see him eclipse career highs with a low-ceiling of 24-27 points. The high ceiling for him should project out to about 33-37 points. He has the ability to play in the line-up every day. We have seen that when he played with the New York Rangers. If he plays everyday, the chances of his success is high.

The next question will be whether the Golden Knights will be willing to give him an extension or allow him to test the free-agent market at the end of the year. (f he reaches the marks, the club will likely be more inclined to re-sign him. However, do not expect it to be more than two or three years for his next deal.

Player Statistics

2018-19 | NYR | 66 GP | (6 G, 17 A) 23 pts, 14 PIM
2019-20 | NYR | 70 GP | (9 G, 10 A) 19 pts, 28 PIM
2020-21 | NYR | 42 GP | (1 G, 6 A) 7 pts, 11 PIM
2021-22 | VGK | 47 GP | (9 G, 11 A) 20 pts, 12 PIM

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