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Pats' Tanner Howe ready for dream come true experience at upcoming NHL Draft


Tanner Howe doesn’t know when he’ll hear his name called in Las Vegas at the upcoming NHL Draft, but the Prince Albert product and Regina Pats captain does know when it happens it will be a dream come true.

The 18-year-old heads into the draft ranked 41st amongst North American skaters and had interviews with 21 NHL teams at the league’s recent combine.

Howe, who has dedicated most of his 18 years to the game of hockey says the draft will be an experience that he won’t soon forget.

“Even getting the chance to go to these things is pretty cool, I’ve heard nothing but cool stories about the Sphere in Las Vegas, my family will be there and it’s also a little [vacation] for them, whenever my name is called it will be a dream come true for sure,” he said.

Howe finished the 2023-24 Western Hockey League season with 77 points in 68 games and tied a career high in assists with 49, he was also selected to play in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

However, Howe knows that in order to play at the game’s highest level he’ll have to show his strengths in more than just the offensive zone.

He’s currently described by many in the Western Hockey League as a strong two-way player.

“I think to play at that kind of level you have to be good at all areas of the game and I think for me it’s how competitive I am and my work ethic, my motor is always going and I think once I improve my skating a little more I can play [in the NHL] one day,” Howe said.

Howe’s highest points total came in 2022-23, when he recorded 85 points in 67 games and played a significant amount of time with Connor Bedard.

However, the veteran of 207 WHL games was able to prove last season that he can hold his own in the rugged Western Hockey League and be the one who commands the ship, with his predecessor of the captain “C” Bedard becoming a full time member of the Chicago Blackhawks.

“I thought coming into this year it was going to be a big year for myself,” Howe said while also appreciating the caliber of players he got to skate with in seasons past. “I knew it was going to be challenging and I really took pride in that and worked as hard as I could and thought it was a pretty good year for me.”

The odds of the dynamic duo teaming up at the NHL level are statistically slim. However, the thought is something Howe would more than embrace should it one day become a reality.

“I mean, who wouldn’t want that chance. He’s obviously really fun to play with and it’s pretty cool that I get to call him a good buddy of mine,” Howe said, adding the two friends talk regularly.

Wherever Howe ends up next season, it will come after an off-season he is spending for the most part in Regina.

"I’m here in Regina,” he said. “Just spending lots of time in the gym and on the ice looking to stay sharp and of course eventually making that next level,” he said.

Aside from Howe, twin brothers and Pats fan favorites Corbin and Jaxsin Vaughan could also hear their names called at the Sphere in Las Vegas, albeit it in the later rounds of the draft.

The WHL’s full schedule for the 2024-25 season has yet to be released as of June 19.

However, the Pats will play their home opener on Sept. 21 against the Brandon Wheat Kings after opening the regular season the night before in Howe’s hometown of Prince Albert.

The 2024 NHL Draft goes June 28 and 29. Top Stories

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