Drayson Bowman’s return to the AHL comes at a welcome time for the Checkers.
Heading into tonight’s important divisional game in Milwaukee, the Checkers were as thin at forward as they’d been all season due to a combination of NHL recalls and injuries. The return of Bowman, who is still tied for third on the team with 8 goals despite having been with the Carolina Hurricanes since Dec. 11 and missing the last nine games, will certainly help remedy that situation.
Bowman, who just completed an 11-game stay at the NHL level that included Friday’s win over Buffalo, should immediately step into a key scoring situation on a team that will be without Brett Sutter (NHL recall) and could also be missing all three of Chris Durno, Riley Nash and Justin Shugg due to injury. ECHL recalls Matt Beca and Sean Dolan are also on the Checkers’ roster to be used if necessary.
The most recent NHL recall for Bowman, his second of the season, was the most productive of his career. The highlight came when he tied an NHL-career-high with a 2-goal performance against Vancouver on Dec. 15 while playing on the top line with Eric Staal, and though he did not score in his next five contests, he saw a three-game assist streak snapped just last night. He finished with 5 points through the duration of his stay, having scored just 3 in his previous 34 games spread out over the last three seasons.
Though he played well and extensively at times, logging a career-best 19:43 of ice time against Florida on Dec. 18, Bowman, the 22-year-old, third-round draft choice of the Hurricanes in 2007, was caught in the numbers game by the expected return of Patrick Dwyer for tonight’s game at Nashville. With the Hurricanes still missing Jeff Skinner due to a concussion, Sutter will stay in the NHL for the time being.