Early in Brett Howden’s profession, it appeared just like the younger middle’s function had the potential to be a stable backside six addition for the Rangers. Howden joined the staff in 2018, on the age simply 20, and made a right away influence. He recorded three factors (one objective, two assists) in his first 5 video games with the Rangers. Issues quieted down after this, and Howden completed his rookie season with 23 factors (6 objectives, 17 assists) in 66 video games.
Howden’s manufacturing dropped barely as he solidified his positioning as a backside six middle who performed large minutes on the penalty kill. In his sophomore season with the Rangers, Howden recorded 19 factors (9 objectives, 10 assists) in 70 video games.
Most importantly during the last two years, he received the center of David Quinn whose reliance on Howden has not dwindled, regardless of his atrocious efficiency within the condensed 2020-21 season. Quinn persevering with to offer Howden minutes is harmful, particularly when there are different choices accessible on the roster.
With extra expertise coming within the type of a extremely anticipated prospect to land in New York and different gamers in Hartford performing properly, it’s time for administration to decide on Howden’s future with the Rangers.
It’s not a lot Howden’s lack of offense that’s troubling, it’s the truth that he’s fully invisible on a nightly foundation.
Over the past 25 video games, Howden has no objectives, one major help, one secondary help, and a measly 19 photographs on objective in 25 video games. He additionally has averaged 1.4 hits per sport, has simply 16 blocked photographs, and a Corsi For proportion of 41.33.
Chart courtesy of Evolving Hockey
Brett Howden has the fifth most ice time of all gamers on the Rangers roster on the penalty kill, which has been extraordinarily profitable not too long ago. It’s true that he contributes as part of this success.
Nevertheless, this can’t be the defining purpose for why Howden stays within the lineup and will get ice time over different gamers.
Nobody expects Brett Howden to be 40 objective scorer; he’s what he’s — a backside six participant. Nevertheless, the sheer mediocrity of Howden’s play has been starkly extra noticeable this season.
With numbers like those he has been placing up it’s a thriller as to how a participant who’s so invisible from night-to-night is getting such vital minutes.
There are different items on the Rangers roster who do extra and see much less ice time than Howden.
What this all means for the long run
Generally expertise you thought was going to show into one thing good simply don’t work out and that’s okay! Brett Howden is 22-years-old and in no way is completed creating, however maybe it needs to be time for him to take a break from making an attempt to develop on NHL ice so he can rebuild any worth in his present function with the Rangers.
It’s not okay to disregard the truth that the asset isn’t what you thought it is likely to be.
Howden shouldn’t be filling a roster spot when he does not likely to something to contribute at any power apart from sometimes in man-down conditions.
With the potential for Vitali Kravtsov to hitch the roster within the coming weeks, making an attempt to maintain Brett Howden within the lineup signifies that he may not get the chance he deserves.
It’s true that the Rangers do not need a plethora of choices at middle. Nevertheless, Kevin Rooney has expertise centering and has taken a good variety of faceoffs this season and will fill the fourth line middle place.
Whereas Rooney has had some penalty kill time, it hasn’t been nice. Nevertheless, possibly a participant like Colin Blackwell who has displayed prowess on the forecheck might be molded into an efficient substitute.
The underside line is, Quinn has to lastly be having a look at sitting Howden. If not, it needs to be time for higher administration to step in and facilitate a transfer.