The Flames announced today that former 3rd rounder Ryan Howse did not report to rookie camp and has been suspended by the team. The left winger was a big scorer in the WHL, managing 47 and 51 goals in his final two seasons in the dub. His scouting report came with a lot of red flags, however – his one dimensional game, lackluster skating and average vision meant Howse was a bit of a longshot heading into pro.
That shot became, err, longer when he showed up at pro camp completely overweight and out of shape a couple of seasons ago. Howse only appeared in 39 games for the Heat as a rookie thanks to a combination of injury and healthy scratches. He scored just 9 points.
Last season, Howse started the season in the ECHL and failed to make much of an impression there either. He was eventually called up to Abbotsford due more to need than merit, but again he wasn’t really useful, managing just one assist in 20 games.
Howse was no longer a prospect of note in Calgary as a result. He has just one season left on his ELC, which will obviously be suspended if he continues to refuse to report to the team. We can’t know if his decision is career/perception based, or if there is a deeper reason for Howse’s defection, but it’s not a major loss from a prospect/organizational perspective.
Howse was chosen in 2009, the year Calgary took Tim Erixon in the first round. Joni Ortio is the only player remaining in the Flames org from that entry draft – meaning it’s another one that looks to be a total wash-out for this team (unless you account for Markus Granlund, Tyler Wotherspoon and Roman Horak, who were had in exchange for Erixon a few years later).