Howden had already shown scouts his ability as a defensive forward. He impressed last summer playing internationally for Team Canada, and his name was creating buzz as a checking forward that could help teams win by playing the hard way.
A funny thing happened on his way to the draft board. Howden developed as an offensive threat in the Western Hockey League, averaging a point per game for the Moose Jaw Warriors. That impressive play with the puck has helped him become a potential first-round pick in June.
There is nothing awe-inspiring about his game. He is a good playmaker who can also score goals. Howden is more than adequate defensively, something that sets him apart from a lot of highly-rated forwards in this class. He's a big kid, and he is only going to get bigger as he develops.
In the pros, Howden is still not likely to be more than a third-line player, but we all know how important guys like that can be, especially in the playoffs.