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