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Brett Howden Goes From Spectator To Protagonist Five Years Later

(Photo Credit: Sportsnet TV broadcast of Game 4)

Five years ago the Golden Knights got their first taste of the Winnipeg Whiteout in the Western Conference Finals. Among the 16,000 fans clad in white was a young hockey player dreaming of being out there himself one day.

Manitoba-born Brett Howden, fresh off of his final season with the Moose Jaw Warriors was with his family and friends watching on from the stands as the Golden Knights punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018.

Fast forward to Game 4. Now, Howden’s parents, siblings, in-laws, and friends were all once again in the stands, but this time, the former 1st round pick was on the ice making game-deciding plays rather than watching them.

It’s pretty wild. It’s just amazing how things change down the road and I’m just super thankful to be here. And, I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty cool. -Brett Howden

Howden scored Vegas’ first goal, a crucial 1st period tally to tie the game at one, by using some of the skill he possessed which made his dream of playing on this stage much more of a possibility than the hundreds of other kids with the same dream in the building five years ago.

He then added a second one, an empty-netter, to seal the deal for the Golden Knights before skating toward the corner nearest his family’s seats. With a massive smile on his face, he gave them a salute and then joined his teammates to celebrate their now 3-1 series lead.

It was an emotional moment for me. I was looking forward to coming back to play in the whiteout and after I scored I don’t even remember what I did cause I was so emotional about it. -Howden

Howden’s big night has been in the making this entire series. After being switched onto the wing of Chandler Stephenson and opposite Mark Stone in Game 2, he’s made an instant impact helping balance the Golden Knights’ lineup.

We’re trying to find the best four combinations (of lines). Howden added speed to Stephenson and Stone the other night and it seemed to work for them. Stone can slow the play down so well that we thought Howden going to the net would work so that predicated the move. -Bruce Cassidy before Game 4

It’s a combination Cassidy has envisioned working for a while. In fact, the first six games of the season Howden played with Stephenson and Stone before the lines were shuffled. One of the reasons he’s a good fit is the simplicity in his game that pairs with well playing Mark Stone’s elite hockey sense.

It’s pretty easy (to play with Stone). He’s unbelievably intelligent and then you’ve got Stephenson as well and those two together are a dynamic duo. Just trying to help out where I can with them by trying to get open and creating some space for them and letting them do their thing. I don’t want to change anything. Just cause I move up a line to play with them I still want to stay hard on the forecheck, go to the net, create some havoc there. -Howden

In less than three games together, that line has been on the ice for four Golden Knights goals and they’ve outshot the Jets 21-12 in just 34 minutes of ice time.

As a result of their excellent, like five years ago, most of the Winnipeg crowd went home with their heads hanging as the Golden Knights beat the Jets at Canada Life Centre for the fourth playoff game in a row. This time though, the Howden clan was on the other side of it, and that’s in good part because, this time, Brett was on the ice.




Both Teams Confident Entering Thursday’s Elimination Game


  1. THE hockey GOD

    another nice win, hanging on a prayer

    meanwhile the KRAKEN are RISING

  2. THE hockey GOD

    howden has been engaged this whole series, throwing his body around, doing the hard work; deserves the star. Always liked him, he’s a young kid. Needs to learn how to stay healthy in this rough/ tumble game.

  3. Tim

    Another huge win and getting mileage out of players like Howden and Amadio has been a plus. Rooting for the Kraken I’d rather play them then any of the other choices in round 2. Lets end it Thursday at home and be done with the Jets.

  4. Rashaad

    I’m glad that the hockey God mentioned Brett Howden. Couldn’t agree more with his comments.

    • Emmanuel

      He had a HUGE goal but look at the overall stats, he’s barely an NHL 4th liner as of now. I think next year will prove if he has any upside in him or hes reached his top level. I say this because ive seen organizations get attached to the Amadios & Howdens or a Goalie that gets hot for a few months and overpay them with term & the franchise all of a sudden is saddled with albatrosses and just treads water for half a decade.

  5. knights fan in minny

    howdy was picked right after tage thompson in the draft so you know he is a good player

    • Roberto

      Also selected by Tampa Bay originally, another team that has a nice track record of player evaluations. That was an absolutely loaded draft by the way.

      Fun coincidence for this series is that he was shipped from Tampa to the Rangers along with now Winnipeg’s Namestnikov (for Ryan McDonagh + JT Miller).

  6. Jailbird

    I know most would think we would rather play LA and not Oilers in rd 2. I mostly agree, but, I really don’t think Edmonton is built as good as LA as a playoff team. At any rate all PO series are tuff. So we just need to care of Jets now and not worry about next round matchup.

  7. Ice Warrior

    Great story about Brett.

  8. THE hockey GOD

    funny how all the “people” advocating for socialism,
    don’t contribute ANYTHING to our economy or society
    to begin with

    (are you listening Bernie, lover of all things social, including
    Russia and Putin)

  9. THE hockey GOD


    Those are fighting words, what will the relatively
    young FAN BASE in vEGA$ come up in return on THURSDAY NIGHT?

    Don’t give me those silly drums, loud horn, “lets make some noise”, flashy lights
    bull shit. We all know the vegas rink isn’t that loud when you turn off
    all the theatrics. You could hear a mouse peep at times. VEGAS NEEDS REAL FANS. LOUD ONES, AND COME UP WITH SOMETHING MORE THAN lame

    (I am sure if we play LA, we will here the old chant of LA SUCKS), but

    Like the JETS ARE LOSERS

    sez me

  10. Jailbird

    Got to throw this in there. If Carrier does come back, I think Kessel would be the player that should sit. I’m sure if Cassidy is willing to do that, as he likes experienced guys. I also don’t th8nk he would sit Kolasar . Good problem to have I guess.

    • THE hockey GOD

      cassidy won’t sit Kessel, Cassidy uses seniority system; so that leaves you know who to sit. Two choices. And both of them shouldn’t be out of line up at this point.

      Note Freddy Kruger isn’t playing (much), it’s nice to have a depth problem.

  11. Ken – cool article what a great experience for Howden and his family. It just goes to show you just never know what the future has in store. Think you can and you will, think you can’t and its almost a certainty you won’t. Great win and Howden did his part.

  12. Lori

    Let’s keep him ❤️ GO KNIGHTS GO!

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