Bo Byram treats anxiety and pressure like they don’t exist. He recognizes fear as would a combatant, merely something to conquer.
For the first defenseman selected in the 2019 NHL draft, but one thing is clear: Byram oozes with the type of confidence that might allow the 18-year-old to play at hockey’s highest level next season and become a franchise defenseman down the road.
The Avs selected Byram with the No. 4 overall selection in the recent NHL draft. By doing so, Colorado passed on elite forwards in continuing its plan to build from the back end. The Avs need more immediate help up front but Byram was deemed too good at his position to pass on.
Byram was born June 13, 2001 — four days after the Avalanche won its second Stanley Cup — but he carries himself like a seasoned 20-something veteran.
“I’m a pretty comfortable guy. I’m pretty sociable. I seem to find a way to fit in usually — wherever I am,” Byram said at the Avs’ development camp. “That definitely helps, walking into a room with a bunch of new faces and then having to compete with them, and play with them.”
Chances are good that Byram walks into a room with Avalanche all-stars Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen to begin training camp in September and sticks with the big club all season. He’ll likely have a nine-game NHL audition with the Avs, who will have a choice of keeping Byram all season or sending him back to his junior team, the Vancouver Giants, before his 10th NHL game.