Brett Howden said that being cut by Team Canada's World Junior team, prior to the 2017 tournament, helped him become the player that he is now. (NY Post)
Howden had been a first round pick of Tampa Bay in 2016 and said that being cut opened his eyes to show him that "nothing's given to you and you gotta work for what you get." (NY Post)
Howden made Canada's World Junior team for the 2018 tournament and had 3 goals and 4 assists in 7 games.
Gordie Clark said that Howden's line was used in a defensive role for Canada but scored "10 even strength goals." (NYR)
Clark added that the 2018 World Juniors was the "best" Howden has looked. (NY Post)
He said that he saw Howden as a two-way center that wasn't afraid to battle for pucks, won all of his "important faceoffs" and could still score goals. (NY Post)
Howden said that his focus as a player has changed from settling for "good enough" to "trying to be the difference maker." (NY Post)
When Howden was acquired, Jeff Gorton said "he's a center we have coveted for a while, big guy, rangy, good skater, we like his upside and skill and also his character. We like that he plays against better players and can check and do a lot of different things. Real good person. We are really happy with him and his ability and his future."
Chris Drury said that Howden is someone the Rangers had been watching for a number of years and that he is a "really strong 200ft center" with offensive upside. (The Athletic)
Howden said that he is looking forward to this summer, working hard and trying to make the team out of training camp. He added that "I'm really excited for what's ahead. I'm going to work hard no matter what and see where it takes me." (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: Howden, to me, is sort of the forgotten prospect that the Rangers got last year. They already had two young centers in Chytil and Andersson that everyone was obsessed with and with the amount of defensemen they got in those deals, Howden just seemed to fall behind Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren and Yegor Rykov in terms of where people were focusing. That is certainly no shot at Howden who seems destined to be a long-time NHLer with comparisons ranging from Ryan Kesler to Jordan Staal to Brandon Sutter, Dominic Moore or Brian Boyle. He has a lot of skill in his game but there are questions about how it will translate to the NHL level. No one seems to question his work ethic, two-way game, hockey sense and leadership ability which are all qualities the Rangers need as part of this rebuild. Long-term there are people around the organization that view him as sort of the third-line center anchor behind Chytil and Andersson and someone the Rangers will use in multiple facets of the game.