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(GRADED) Deep Dive #2 - Nicholas Owens
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2023, 06:17 AM by Opera_Phantom. Edited 1 time in total.)

With the Buffalo Stampede's S69 season has come to an end, so does the career of long time defenseman Nicholas Owens so I thought it would be nice to look back on his career.

Nicholas Owens first started his career after being drafted to the then Anaheim Outlaws all the way back in the S50 SMJHL draft. It would turn out to be just an ok pick by the Outlaws as Owens only put up relatively mediocre numbers down in the juniors as he never broke more than 28 points in a season but did put up consistent hits and blocked shot numbers. Owens was quite the playoff defenseman as he kept up his good defensive numbers while heavily increasing his production on the other side of the ice which helped propel a pretty stacked Anaheim roster to a four-star cup win in S52 which would be the last season Owens played in the juniors.

In S51, with the number one pick in the draft, the Buffalo Stampede took a chance on the defenseman. The Stampede weren't too far removed from their challenge cup back in S48 but were in some need of a new group of players to come in to replace some of their older veterans on the squad, and especially the blueline. They called up Owens very soon after being drafted as S53 would be his season playing in the majors. After an abysmal 8 point season that did not have the defensive upside he had previously shown in the juniors, it was clear that this would be a bit of a project for the Stampede. It was not until S57 when Owens put up 39 points to go along with stellar defensive production did it start to seem like the pick was paying off. Then in S59, Owens finally broke out offensively putting up 57 points which included 18 goals to go along with a career high 181 shots blocked and 143 hits which was good enough for 3rd team all-SHL honors that season. Owens would follow this up with his best season of his career in S60 with 66 points that included a then league defenseman record of 23 goals. Owens would win the stevens that year, make 2nd team all-SHL, and the Stampede would go on to win the challenge cup. Owens would only come close to matching this peak when he put up 55 points in S62 but otherwise I think Owens career can be summed up with "pretty good". He was a consistent 30-40 point producer for much of his career while playing a more defensive game until he started to decline after S65. 

All in all, I believe that Nicholas Owens had a good career. He really only has 3 seasons that would standout amongst the others but even then he was always at least a decent producer and a good defensive piece. Winning a stevens to go along with 2 challenge cups should give him an ok shot at the HOF. A lot of his career rest on the longevity of it though. While not having any crazy career numbers, playing 1000 games in 17 seasons allowed him to amass good career numbers and especially in the playoffs as the Buffalo Stampede never missed the playoffs once and were able to make some deep playoff runs.

WC: 556

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