Calgary Flames select Barrhaven’s Henry Mews in 2024 NHL Draft

LAS VEGAS – Henry Mews had a local entourage with him in Las Vegas as he waited for his name to be called at the NHL Draft Sat., June 29.

In the third round, the Barrhaven native finally heard his name called and received congratulations from his parents, his three younger brothers, his agent, and his trainer, Tony Greco.

“It’s a special group to me,” Mews said. “They’re all really excited and happy for me and I wouldn’t be here without them. It’s their moment just as much as mine.”

Mews is an offensive-minded defenceman cut from the same cloth as the last Barrhaven native drafted, Brandt Clarke in 2021. He played his minor hockey in the Nepean Raiders program before jumping to the Myers AAA program. He left Barrhaven to play for the Toronto Jr. Canadians in the GTA, where he was moved from forward to defence. He has spent the last two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Ottawa 67s.

“It’s unbelievable to be drafted into the NHL,” Mews told the media after being drafted Saturday. “It’s a dream come true. It doesn’t matter what team selected me but Calgary – I’ve been there once before – is a great city I watch a lot of their games. They’ve got a great fan base.”

Mews, who confessed at the NHL Combine that he has lived and breathed hockey throughout his life, has spent his career playing defence and also playing forward. The 6’, 180-pound Mews is a strong skater and is highly-skilled, but he is known mostly for his high hockey IQ. He was one of the best passers from the blueline in the OHL, particularly om the power play. He thrives on putting his teammates in a good position to score.

With the 67s during the 2023-24 season, he was second on the team in scoring despite being a blueliner. He scored 15 goals and had 46 assists for 61 points in 68 games.

Being an offensive-minded defenceman makes sense for a player who grew up going to games at Canadian Tire Centre and watching Erik Karlsson in his prime with the Ottawa Senators.

Mews has grown as a player with the 67s, and will likely be back for a third season with them in the fall after Calgary’s training camp.

“They’re a first class organization and I wouldn’t have been able to do be here without them,” Mews said of the 67s. “They’ve been great to me.

“I started off as a forward and then started playing so I’ve just been continuing to develop in my position and continue how to play the game the right way. The coaches have been great. (Ottawa 67s head coach) Dave (Cameron) actually coached in Calgary, and he knows what it takes to make the NHL. He’s taught me a lot.”

Mews is hoping to improve defensively in the upcoming season to become a more complete player.

“It’s my third year playing D exclusively so I’ve got to learn how to play the pro style game,” Mews said. “I think the offensive skills are there and I’ve just got to learn how to be a complete defenceman to play in the NHL one day and continue to get bigger and stronger too.”

Mews was also happy to go to Calgary, saying that it is a good situation for him.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Mews said. “They’re rebuilding and they’re giving their young guys an opportunity to play and develop. I’m, really excited for the opportunity and it’s going to be great for my development. I’ve got a lot of room to grow as a player so it’s a perfect opportunity for me.

Mews is happy that the draft is over and that he can get back to work in the gym. He said that going to Vegas for the NHL Draft was a special experience.

“It’s been pretty stressful but I tried to stay as calm as I could,” Mews said. “I tried to not worry. I knew I was going to be selected and whatever team drafts you want you. So it’s been great here in Vegas so far.

“It’s a pretty unique spot. It’s the last draft. It’s a great environment and great spot to have the draft and I am going to remember this moment for the rest of my life.”