Highly ranked NHL draft prospect now up to 19 goals on the season, closing in on Kevin Connauton’s team record of 24 set nine seasons ago.Bowen Byram is closing in on the Vancouver Giants’ single-season record for goals by a defenceman.Byram, a projected early selection at June’s NHL Entry Draft at Rogers Arena, bagged the game winner at 0:33 of overtime in Vancouver’s 3-2 triumph over the host Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday. It was his 19th marker of the campaign and his 10th in just 13 games in January.It’s already the second-best single-season total in team history for a defenceman, behind the 24 goals that Kevin Connauton produced in 69 games in 2009-10.Vancouver (32-12-2-1) has 21 games remaining in league play heading into a Friday visit to the Portland Winterhawks (30-14-3-2). The Giants are home Saturday (7 p.m., at the Langley Events Centre) to face the Prince George Cougars (16-27-3-2).Connauton, in his one season with the Giants, broke Jon Blum’s then-team mark for goals by a defenceman. Blum had 18 tallies in 2007-08 in 64 games.
Vancouver Giants forward Justin Sourdif goes looking for a rebound while Kamloops Blazers netminder Dylan Ferguson defends his turf Wednesday in Kamloops. (Photo: Allen Douglas)
Byram is third in the WHL in points for a defenceman, with 47. Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs and Dawson Davidson of the Saskatoon Blades both have 51 points.Byram’s January goal total alone would tie him for the fifth-best season mark so far this year among WHL rearguards. Jett Woo, the Vancouver Canucks’ second-round draft pick last June, has 10 goals in 42 games.Kelowna Rockets blue-liner Lassi Thomson has 11 goals on the campaign, while Prince Albert Raiders rearguard Brayden Pachal and Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Conner McDonald both have 12 markers.Centre Davis Koch, with his team-leading 20th, and rookie winger Lukas Svejkovsky, with his fifth, had the other markers for Vancouver. Trent Miner made 29 saves in the Vancouver net as Vancouver improved to 15-4-2-1 in one-goal games.Dylan Ferguson made 18 saves for Kamloops (19-25-3-1), while Zane Franklin, with his 24th, and Orrin Centazzo, with his 12th, scored for the Blazers.email@example.com/SteveEwen CLICK HERE to report a typo. Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.