NHL Bowen Byram’s first taste of the play of the Colorado Avalanche movement

There have been several interesting storylines regarding Colorado Avalanche defender Boyne Byram and the recently concluded playoff streak with the Nashville Predators. First, the fact that Byram was a staple of Matt Duchene’s 2017 commercial revenue in the form of the 2019 fourth overall pick from the Ottawa Senators, was an interesting wrinkle.

The second factor is that it was the first pair of Byram games at Bridgestone Arena. He was expected to wear a suit and play in Nashville on January 11 when he abruptly left the team that day indefinitely for personal reasons to deal with his ongoing post-concussion problems. Three months later, Byram is back in the game and there must have been some thoughts and feelings going back to where he began his path to recovery.

Finally, the Nashville series was the first taste of post-season action that Byram experienced in his young career having missed both the 2020 and 2021 playoffs and unfortunately saw disappointing avalanche eliminations out of the press box. This year, Byram has been considered experienced enough and ready to contribute fully to what he hopes will be a long playoff for the team.

It wasn’t a given that Byram would make the inaugural post-season squad, but it’s fair to say he has the inside track with his talent and ability as well as the month he spent getting his game back in order to help him prepare for the playoffs. After his return to the ice, the rookie defender played in two AHL conditioning games and 12 of the 13 regular-season finals for the Avalanche. He scored six points in those games averaging 17:39 times on the ice most notably the 24:09 outing at the Seattle Kraken.

Head coach Jared Bednar praised his junior coach and said he loved what he had seen from Byram so far in the qualifiers whether by being involved in attack or using defensive physical strength. Bednar also recently reflected on Byram’s journey back with the team.

“To be able to move on and get healthy, get the help he needs and take the time I need to come back and play at a high level, it’s not easy to do that especially after two years of frustration and heartbreak. So I’m just proud of him and I hope he keeps going here. Now, staying healthy and continuing to be a factor in helping us win hockey games.”

Byram earned his first post-season point with an assist on Andrei Burakovsky’s opening goal in Match 4. However, Byram is still looking for his first tally in both playoffs and since his return but scored five in the regular season. He has not been without his share of opportunities and one will eventually find his back net, perhaps in a pivotal moment down the line.

While Byram was confined to a more limited role than he’s used to matching Eric Johnson in the third pair, the two have been very effective together and one of the best duos in the league as evidenced by their 69% share of projected goals. as a pairing. In fact, Byram leads the team in the Course Four with 65.14% and was on the ice in Nashville’s four-game series with five goals and just one goal against avalanche.


For his part, EJ did well himself as he provided assists in four matches. He’s enjoyed a full season of health and his first taste of supplement matches since 2000 after missing nearly the whole of last season. EJ talked that day about how he enjoys playing on a pair with Byram.

“I love him. He kind of has an old school spirit, he’s lucky. He’s so young but he has that throwback style to him for how off the ice he is. I think if he played all year he would be in the running for this year’s Rookie of the Year award, I really do.” He’s very talented, and skates really well. Just a lot of fun to be around, I’ve really enjoyed him so far. I’m collecting things from his game and I think I can help my game with it.”

Byram returned the compliments the next day discussing his relationship with Eric Johnson and how he had been his friend and mentor. Avalanche has an incredible competitive advantage with the defense they’ve built and extends beyond Cale Makar and Devon Toews all the way to this duo. Byram is full of surprises with his aggressive nature and has the ability to change the rules of the game. Then the St. Louis Blues will pose an even bigger challenge but as always, Byram is ready to go.

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