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Golden Knights Analysis

Howden Was Stellar For Golden Knights Before Rough Collision Ended His Season

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Welcome back to Vegas Hockey Now’s season in review series where we look at every player on the Vegas Golden Knights and their 2021-22 season from Michael Amadio to Zach Whitecloud.

You can catch up on the series here: Michael AmadioReilly SmithJonas RondbjergKeegan KolesarRobin LehnerAlex Pietrangelo, Nolan PatrickShea TheodoreJake LeschyshynMark StoneMax PaciorettyLaurent BrossoitMattias JanmarkWilliam CarrierJack EichelNicolas RoyChandler Stephenson, Jonathan MarchessaultBen HuttonDylan Coghlan, Nicolas Hague, and Zach Whitecloud.

Today’s player is Brett Howden

BRETT HOWDEN

Brett Howden Vegas Golden Knights official 2021-22 headshot

Stats: 47 GP 9-11-20 PTS
Contract: Restricted Free Agent
Games Missed: 35
Status: Injured (Upper-Body)
VHN’s Grade: B-

Overall Thoughts

Brett Howden was acquired by the Golden Knights in a small under-the-radar deal last summer with the VGK trading prospect Nick DeSimone and a 2022 4th round pick to the New York Rangers for Howden. A former first-round pick back in 2016, there was promise to Howden’s game as he arrived in Las Vegas.

Howden showed flashes of greatness and skills that justified his first-round selection. But just as it seemed the Golden Knights had a young offensive-minded bottom-six forward, his season came to an end during a nasty and unfortunate collision with Fillip Forsberg

This resulted in Howden leaving the game via a stretcher. He did not return for the rest of the season.

At 24 years old, Howden is a restricted free agent coming off a set of entry-level contracts that he signed with the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning. If he can recover from injury and ink a new deal, the Golden Knights have a solid offensive producer in their bottom six for 2022-23.

Highlights

Howden really seemed to turn the corner for the Golden Knights on their Eastern Conference road trip in late 2021. On that trip, he scored a goal and assist against his former Rangers team. From that game on up until mid-March, he put up 15 points in 24 games, which included seven goals and a plus-six rating.

In late Janurary and early February, Howden decided that he liked scoring goals. He scored goals in four straight and put up seven points in five games. This came at a time when the Golden Knights were desperate for depth scoring, and Howden stepped up.

His speed and skating separate him from your typical bottom-six grinder in the NHL. Howden also showed strong chemistry with guys like Nolan Patrick, Adam Brooks, and Keegan Kolesar throughout the season. At 24 years of age, there is a lot to like with Howden’s game and more room for him to grow.

The collision against the Predators happened in late March and Howden missed the final 16 games.

What’s Next?

Howden needs a new contract, but shouldn’t cost the Golden Knights much. I could see a one-to-two-year “prove yourself” type contract for Howden. While he showed flashes of excellence, his overall numbers weren’t anything outstanding as he struggled early on in the season and injuries cost him the latter half of his fourth year in the NHL.

With the Golden Knights up against the cap, having a player like Howden, who will likely come in cheap, will give them the flexibility to move guys around more in the lineup. I can see Howden breaking out in 2022-23 and becoming an impact player for the Golden Knights.

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now and writes for the Boulder City Review-Journal. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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