Bow­ers bows out

Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles con­firm Shane Bow­ers won’t re­port to train­ing camp.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID JALA sports@cb­post.com On Twit­ter: @cb­post_s­ports

The Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles have con­firmed that Shane Bow­ers will not re­port to the team’s train­ing camp in early Au­gust.

The fu­ture of Bow­ers has been the cen­tre of spec­u­la­tion since he was drafted fourth over­all by the Scream­ing Ea­gles in the 2015 Québec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League draft in early June.

“The par­ents and the agent have in­formed us that Shane will not be re­port­ing to our camp,” said Cape Bre­ton’s head coach and gen­eral man­ager Mar­cAn­dré Du­mont.

“We’re sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed be­cause Shane is a Nova Sco­tia res­i­dent who is from just four hours away — it’s sur­pris­ing also be­cause on draft day Shane spoke to dif­fer­ent media and said he didn’t see a prob­lem play­ing in Cape Bre­ton.”

Bow­ers, who as a mem­ber of the Hal­i­fax McDon­ald’s was named the most valu­able player in the Nova Sco­tia East­Link Ma­jor Mid­get Hockey League last sea­son, has in­di­cated to the Scream­ing Ea­gles that he will be re­port­ing to the train­ing camp of the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League, the top tier of ju­nior hockey in the U.S.

At the draft, Bow­ers donned a Scream­ing Ea­gles jersey and at­tended the team’s post draft re­cep­tion along with fam­ily mem­bers, but spec­u­la­tion about his fu­ture be­gan im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards with online ru­mours cir­cu­lat­ing that the tal­ented teenager would snub Cape Bre­ton in favour of the Waterloo fran­chise that had se­lected him in the USHL draft in May.

Bow­ers could not be reached for com­ment.

It re­mains un­clear whether Bow­ers’ re­fusal to re­port to Cape Bre­ton’s train­ing camp is a ploy to be traded to another QMJHL team or if he truly be­lieves his fu­ture is best served south of the bor­der.

But Du­mont, who still main­tains that Bow­ers was the best 1999-born player avail­able in June’s QMJHL draft, said the or­ga­ni­za­tion has no in­ten­tion of trad­ing away the rights of the tal­ented for­ward who turns 16 years old to­day.

“We have no in­ten­tion of trad­ing Shane — he is a top-end player who could have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on our fran­chise, not just our team,” said Du­mont.

“We feel it is im­por­tant to build within the draft and to keep our prom­ise to our fans that we will re­main com­pet­i­tive through the cy­cles of ju­nior hockey — we have ab­so­lutely no in­ten­tion of trad­ing Shane Bow­ers.”

Du­mont also said he be­lieves a ca­reer with the Scream­ing Ea­gles is a great path to take given Bow­ers’ stated de­sire to play in the NHL.

“With five for­wards not re­turn­ing from last sea­son, we of­fer a great en­vi­ron­ment for any rookie who wants to find his place and con­trib­ute — that’s another part of why we are sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed,” said Du­mont, who will re­turn to Syd- ney fol­low­ing a week­end coach­ing clinic in Québec.

In the months lead­ing up to the QMJHL draft, Bow­ers, a na­tive of Her­ring Cove, just out­side of Hal­i­fax, was pro­jected to be the first-over­all pick in the QMJHL draft, but just prior to the June 6 se­lec­tion process in Sher­brooke, it has an­nounced that

“We have no in­ten­tion of trad­ing Shane — he is a top- end player who could have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on our fran­chise, not just our team.” Scream­ing Ea­gles’ head coach and GM An­dré Du­mont

Mon­treal’s Joseph Ve­leno had been granted “ex­cep­tional player” sta­tus by the Cana­dian Hockey League.

With Ve­leno avail­able, the Saint John Sea Dogs, who held the first pick, se­lected the un­der­age for­ward ahead of Bow­ers, who fell to fourth in the draft af­ter An­toine Mo­rand and Maxime Com­tois were cho­sen by Acadie-Bathurst and Vic­to­ri­av­ille, re­spec­tively.

Bow­ers’ re­fusal to at­tend train­ing camp marks the third con­sec­u­tive sea­son in which a first-round choice has opted not to re­port to Cape Bre­ton. In 2013, first-over­all pick Ni­co­las Roy chose not to re­port and was even­tu­ally dealt to Chicoutimi, while 2014 pick Michael O’Leary chose to at­tend a New Eng­land prep school.

In this year’s draft, the Scream­ing Ea­gles used their sec­ond first-round pick (sixth over­all) to se­lect Fred­er­ic­ton’s Pey­ton Hoyt, who has pub­li­cally stated his de­sire to make the team as a 16year-old.

Bow­ers, Hoyt and Cape Bre­ton’s sec­ond-round pick, goalie Kyle Jes­si­man, are all at Hockey Canada’s U-17 de­vel­op­ment camp in Cal­gary.

The Scream­ing Ea­gles train­ing camp opens Aug. 10.

VIN­CENT ÉTHIER/QMJHL MEDIA

Hal­i­fax’s Shane Bow­ers will not be re­port­ing to the Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles train­ing camp in Au­gust. The MVP of the 2014-15 Nova Sco­tia East­Link Ma­jor Mid­get Hockey League was se­lected fourth over­all in June’s Québec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League draft.

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