Tampa Bay signs first-rounder Howden to ELC

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Brett Howden, the big forward taken 27th overall by Tampa at this year’s draft, has signed his three-year, entry-level deal, the club announced on Wednesday.

Howden, 18, is the younger brother of Jets farmhand Quinton Howden, who was taken 25th overall in 2010. The younger Howden is also familiar with current Bolts rookie Brayden Point — the two played together with WHL Moose Jaw — and Point’s “scouting report” was part of the reason why the Lightning targeted Howden near the end of the first round.

“[The Lightning] are getting a good two-way guy,” Point said. “He plays good D, was on the power play and penalty kill for us this year. He did it all. He’s good on faceoffs, a good centerman, a big body obviously.”

At 6-foot-3 and 191 pounds, Howden has good size and 32 points through 21 games this season with Moose Jaw, so the offensive capability is there as well.

He was one of the cuts from the Canadian team currently participating at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Montreal and Toronto.

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