fbpx
Favorites

© 2022 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Favorites

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut
Isaac Howard is projected to go early in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. (Credit: Martin Rulsch)

DULUTH, Minn. (BVM) – Isaac Howard, a University of Minnesota-Duluth commit, is ready for his moment at the 2022 NHL Draft. The dream he has had since he was a kid is finally about to come true. 

“I’m super pumped,” Howard said. “Obviously it’s been my dream since I started playing hockey so just to have it coming up within two weeks is really cool.” 

Howard enters the draft as a first-round prospect and one of the 10 best Americans in the draft. Most NHL draft boards and mock drafts have him going as high as 10 or somewhere in the middle of the first round but no one expects him to wait very long to hear his name called. 

The 18 year old is an offensive force on the ice with a knack for finding the back of the net. Through two seasons with the prestigious USA Hockey National Team Development Program (USNTDP) in the USHL, Howard had 70 points in 55 games. He leaves the prestigious hockey program tied for fifth in career assists with 95 and is eighth career points 161 career points. It showcases Howard’s ability to not only score goals but get his teammates involved in the attack.

“I’m a high pace offensive player,” Howard said. “I love to drive the play, score goals, set up those plays and I think I’m a quality goal scorer. I can always find a way to impact the game on the score sheet night-in, night-out. I think the teams know they’re getting that out of me.”

If they didn’t, there are plenty of examples of Howard doing just that. During the 2020 Youth Olympic Games, he had seven goals in four games to help Team USA win a silver medal. Watching Jake Guentzel of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lighting, Howard has studied their games and tries to implement what they do into his own game.

Howard also has spent most of 2022 telling teams what they can expect out of him. The draft process has been long and arduous at times, but Howard has made sure to enjoy every second of it. 

“I learned to enjoy it because it’s a process that only happens once,” Howard said. 

It’s a process that he hasn’t had to do on his own. Logan Cooley and Cutter Gauthier are USNTDP teammates of Howard’s and both are projected to go in the first round as well. Along with the three projected to go in the first are other USNTDP players that should get drafted. 

“You got guys around you that are going through the same process so it’s easy to talk about it and be open with them,” Howard said. “I think it definitely helped.”

However, the NHL draft does seem to come with the territory of being in the development program. With all the talent and some of the best coaches in hockey, the program constantly produces talent. The team Howard has been a part of was successful in the USHL and played against DI hockey teams over the last two years.  

“Pretty much when you go to the national team, that stuff is kind of in your system at that point because there is so much buzz around the national team,” Howard said. “It’s kind of just right in front of your face.”

But Howard wanted all that came with being on the national team. He set the goal of making it to the development program back when he was a freshman at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School. At that time, he was also being recruited to play Division I hockey. 

“I kind of knew I was playing past high school at that point and that’s kind of when it set in,” Howard said. “I was like, ‘I could make a living out of this.’” 

The kid from Hudson, Wisconsin who grew up in a hockey family was seeing the determination and dedication he had from an early age start to pay off.  

Howard had been skating since he was 2 and although his brothers and father played, he took the game more seriously. That training is what drew scouts to him and after a recruiting process that led to North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth being the final two options, he chose to become a Bulldog. 

“They have a winning culture and they know how to develop guys to the next level,” Howard said. “You go in there to win and also go in there to develop and be your best version in the NHL.”

That is still his goal and soon he will know which NHL team he is preparing for. Until then, he will continue to enjoy the draft process and then it will be off to Duluth for the next chapter of his hockey career.

Get local sports news direct to your inbox

Originals

more
Notre Dame commit David Lally looking toward MLB future

Notre Dame commit David Lally looking toward MLB future

David Lally had a tremendous career at Grand Blanc that included a state title and…

Louisville commit Zion Rose concludes special junior season

Louisville commit Zion Rose concludes special junior season

Zion Rose is one of the top Class of 2023 players in Illinois and one…

Eric Brown’s journey from 0 offers to 2022 MLB Draft prospect

Eric Brown’s journey from 0 offers to 2022 MLB Draft prospect

Eric Brown put his faith in God and now he is a potential first-round MLB…

Mitchell Robinson back with New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Mitchell Robinson back with New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Mitchell Robinson is back with the Knicks after agreeing to a new contract. Here is…

Mark Johnson looks to climb the mountain again with Wisconsin

Mark Johnson looks to climb the mountain again with Wisconsin

Mark Johnson will look to add to his historic resume in his 20th season as…

Ryan Niblett ready to bring track speed to Texas football

Ryan Niblett ready to bring track speed to Texas football

Texas Longhorns’ four-star WR commit Ryan Niblett will team up in Austin with No. 1-ranked…

Future Badger Paytn Monticelli now a two-time Gatorade POY

Future Badger Paytn Monticelli now a two-time Gatorade POY

Two-time Gatorade Wisconsin Softball Player of the Year Paytn Monticelli is continuing her career with…

Bobby Portis returning to Bucks on four-year, $49 million deal

Bobby Portis returning to Bucks on four-year, $49 million deal

After being an integral part of the Bucks’ championship run in 2021 and having a…

Kevin Durant requests trade from Nets; Which team lands KD?

Kevin Durant requests trade from Nets; Which team lands KD?

Kevin Durant has requested out of Brooklyn to set up one of the biggest trades…

Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Jalen Brunson is finally a Knick. Here is everything you need to know:

Nick Van Exel is perfect for Trae Young, Dejounte Murray

Nick Van Exel is perfect for Trae Young, Dejounte Murray

Nick Van Exel, a fan favorite point guard from his time in the NBA and…

Tyler Freeman fulfilling his promise as Guardians prospect

Tyler Freeman fulfilling his promise as Guardians prospect

Cleveland Guardians shortstop prospect Tyler Freeman uses the motivation provided by his parents on his…

Ethan Davis brings elite TE versatility to Tennessee football

Ethan Davis brings elite TE versatility to Tennessee football

Tennessee's four-star TE commit Ethan Davis will team up with five-star QB Nico Iamaleava in…

Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn made history in Minnesota by becoming the first high school athlete to sign…

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams will be a co-professor of a course for the…

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci grew up with North Carolina as his dream school. Now he is a…

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell can shine in Wisconsin under Jim Leonhard.

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Iona Preparatory quarterback Ajani Sheppard rose from no Division I offers to more than a…

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Three-star Class of 2023 defensive lineman Tyler Gant will look to continue his athletic and…

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Taking over as the starting quarterback of the BC Lions, former Ohio University standout Nathan…