Photo credit: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze Photography
With the 53rd overall pick, the Capitals selected Madison Bowey from the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets. Over the last decade, the Rockets have produced several high-quality NHL defensemen including Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, and Luke Schenn.
Bowey is a Winnipeg native who earned a lot of praise from scouts for his skating. His footwork and speed allow him to always be at the right place at the right time while also keeping up with fast forwards and jumping up on rushes. HockeyProspect.com ranked him as high as 15th in their final rankings.
“I like to play a physical game and also use my speed to my advantage,” Bowey told reporters after being drafted. “I think I can bring that to the Caps. They are a great, great offensive team and also strong enough defensively so I’ll think fit in great in that mold.”
He’s probably best known so far for scoring an important goal for Team Canada in the gold medal game of the Under-18 World Juniors against the US. His tally allowed Canadians to tie the game at two after they had lost their early lead. Frederik Gauthier’s goal would win it for them.
Bowey’s goal is at 4:30 mark.
Playing on a strong Kelowna Rockets team, Bowey has really improved his game in the defensive end of the ice. According to The Hockey News, some scouts viewed him as a more offensive defenseman coming into the year. His scoring total only improved by nine points from last year, but he has really rounded out his game. He needs to keep improving his defense and eliminate some of the risk, but the results have been very impressive heretofore. His speed and agility allow him to recover quickly if something goes wrong — very rarely do his mistakes lead to serious consequences for his team.
Being a black hockey player, Bowey said his hero growing up was Jerome Iginla and he tried to model his character on the classy forward. On the ice, Bowey compared himself to Zach Bogosian of the Winnipeg Jets.
“He’s a big guy, he’s two-way defensemen, he’s a great skater,” he said of Bogosian. “Solid in the defensive zone, he also can put up some offensive numbers too.”
Bowey is also known as a great breakout passer. His crisp feeds are major part of his game, something that helps his team to keep pressure on the opposition.
Due to his fine passing and solid shot, Bowey has been able to reach 30 point mark last year, becoming sixth among WHL’s defenseman under 18 years of age in that category. Bowey, who used to play baseball along with hockey, won’t wow you with big hits, but will not hesitate to jump on an opportunity to play physical when possible. In terms of athletic ability, there are few players in this draft who can compete with Bowey. And he knows that will be the key to his future.
“I think if I want to make the NHL as soon as possible I have to get a little bit stronger physically because those guys are pretty big and pretty strong in the NHL,” he said. “If you get faster and quicker you can dodge checks quicker. I think that’s basically the main thing I have to work on.”
7 – Bowey (@m_bows4) assisted on the Game 7 OT winner for Kelowna vs. Seattle, which allowed the Rockets to overcome a 0-3 series deficit
— WHL Facts (@WHLFacts) June 30, 2013
Additional reporting by Chris Gordon.