Welcome to another WHL Best of the 2010s feature where we profile the best WHL players from the 2009-10 season all the way to the 2019-20 season. Players are judged based on what they did in each division. This means if a player spent time in multiple divisions, their placement will be judged based on what they did separately while in each division. Don’t forget to vote on our Twitter page, @WHLonA51 to help determine which player will be crowned the best WHL player of the 2010s. We hope you enjoy.
Few can take over a game like Bowen Byram. The Vancouver Giants defenceman finished his WHL career with 150 points in 188 games and is easily the most talented defenceman in franchise history.
After an 11 game stint in 2016-17, Byram joined the Giants full time in 2017-18. During that season, he recorded 27 points in 60 games while adding seven points in seven playoff games. As the season went on, he continued to get better which laid the ground work for a big second season.
Byram’s 2018-19 season was phenomenal. In 67 games, he recorded 71 points and took home a ton of awards. He was named the CHL’s Top Prospect for the year and was named to the WHL’s First All-Star team. In the playoffs, he kicked it up a notch as he led the Giants within one goals of a Memorial Cup berth. In 22 games, he recorded 28 points leading not just defenceman but all players in the WHL playoffs.
In 2019-20, Byram was once again on fire recording 52 points in 50 games. Then the pandemic hit ending his WHL career. Eventually he was named to the WHL West Second All-Star Team once the season was officially called off.
Although his time was limited due to a global pandemic, it is tough to argue he isn’t the best defenceman in Giants history. Few possessed the tools he had which made him such a highly coveted prospect. He is one of the best WHL defenceman from the last decade, plain and simple.