Again, I did not cover Byram in my initial February Draft preview because as desperately as the Ducks need to restock their defensive pipeline - they need a game breaking forward more. Byram will get snapped up within the first ten picks and I can see the Ducks taking a forward over him with the ninth pick even if they were to somehow find themselves in a position to grab him.
He is described as an exceptionally gifted defender who has been instrumental in the Vancouver Giants rise in the WHL. He has also most noticeably scored close to 30 goals this season, a rarity among defensemen (the highest ever in the WHL was 50 in 71-72 courtesy of Lawrence Sacharuk).
Team: Vancouver Giants
Weight: 192lb (87kg)
Age: 17 (DOB Jun 13, 2001 - Cranbrook, BC)
Wheeler noted that Byram looked extremely hesitant to start the season, which was a stark contrast to the confident pace-setter of the previous postseason. But by mid-season, he had rounded into form to look “borderline unstoppable”. He praises his smarts in knowing when to use his shot and activate as a goal scoring threat from the blue line while also being able to use his skating to get back and cover for any mistakes.
Pronman touts him as a minute-eating top pairing defenceman in the making with high end skating that allows him to lead the rush or close gaps. Perhaps his best asset, however is his game-reads and passing.
Byram finished the year with 71 points in 67 games for the Giants, second on the team in scoring and third overall among defenders.