Drayson and Collin Bowman come home to the Colorado Eagles
January 5, 2018
Growing up in Littleton, Drayson Bowman loved hockey. And he loved to score.
So when it was time to play, that left his younger brother, Collin, playing defense.
"They were intense," Drayson said of those living-room matchups.
Hockey has taken the pair a long way since then. They have been around the world, and Drayson even spent parts of five seasons in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens.
As teenagers, they both spent time in the Western Hockey League — a junior league based in Western Canada.
More recently, they both spent time playing overseas — Drayson in Germany the past two years and Collin in Austria last year.
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But, aside from a brief three-game stretch with the Colorado Eagles during the 2014-15 season, they had not shared the ice as part of the same team.
Until this season, when they came nearly full circle, leaving Europe and rejoining the Eagles.
"His drive and the major success he has had, it's something I always looked up to," Collin said. "But, he was always two years and one step ahead, so it's nice to be playing together at the same level."
The plan to play together came to fruition last year, when both realized they didn't want to play the rest of their careers on another continent.
Naturally, the Eagles were a perfect fit.
The team was close to home, and both had previously spent time in an Eagles uniform — Collin on three separate occasions.
"The Eagles are top-notch," Collin said. "It's a great place, I really enjoyed my time with the organization."
Since arriving, they have bolstered the roster of last year's ECHL champions and have Colorado out to a league-leading 23-5-4 record.
"We're both really competitive," Drayson said. "It's nice to be able to channel that towards the same goal instead of against each other."
But the impact they have had on the ice is only part of what they mean to the Eagles. How they handle themselves day to day, and all the little things they do sets a great example for Colorado's younger players.
"They're low maintenance, they're professional and they carry themselves with pride," coach Aaron Schneekloth said. "They're exactly how the team wants to be represented."
And for the brothers, having a familiar face around makes everything easier.
"It's definitely more comfortable sharing a hotel room with the same person you shared a house with growing up," Collin said.
That comfort has let them focus on what they need to do on the ice, to nice results.
Thirty-two games into this season, Drayson has eight goals and 20 assists from the forward position, while Collin has racked up 7 goals and 13 assists as a defender.
It's just really been an enjoyable experience," Schneekloth said. "They have great leadership and they're highly competitive. They exemplify everything we want out of Colorado Eagles players.