Penguins sign Connor Bedard's former teammate

A former linemate of Connor Bedard in the Western Hockey League has signed on with the team that drafted him almost two weeks ago. The Pittsburgh Penguins announced they have signed winger Tanner Howe to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Bedard quickly shakes off rust in return from injury for Blackhawks |  NHL.com

Howe was selected with the 46th overall pick by the Penguins organization in the 2024 NHL Draft and was quickly signed to an entry-level deal after a noticeable development camp showing. The young forward made his presence known as he regularly became the instigator in net-front battles and had two goals to show for it.

During the 2022-23 WHL season, Howe found himself on a line with Bedard while playing for the Regina Pats. He came a perfect complimentary piece to Bedard as an annoying pest on the ice and scored 36 goals and 85 points in 67 games while putting up another two goals and four points in seven postseason contests. After Bedard left Regina to join the Chicago Blackhawks for the 2023-24 NHL season, Howe became the new captain of the organization.

He proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that he could perform without Bedard down the middle as Howe scored 28 goals and 77 points in 68 games. Unfortunately, the Pats were unable to qualify for the 2024 WHL playoffs meaning his season came to an end after the regular season concluded. Howe has been a bit quiet on the international stage for Team Canada as he’s played in a total of 11 games for Canada’s under-18 World Junior Championship squad the past two years but only has one assist to show for it.

It’s unlike that Howe will play for any team in the Penguins organization next season and may even spend another year in the WHL with the Regina Pats. However, there is a case to be made that Howe’s physical game is mature enough to play for the organization’s AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Wherever Howe winds up for the 2024-25 season, Pittsburgh has a definite middle-six prospect in the making if his development continues its current trajectory.