Yorkshireman Ben Bowns has alerted top clubs around the World thanks to his remarkable form for Great Britain during the World Championships in Slovakia.
Cardiff Devils goalie Bowns made a series of astonishing saves for against Germany (1-3) and Canada (0-8).
There is no question clubs at the top levels in Europe and North America are watching Bowns, assessing his style and quality.
Devils, of course, want Bownsy to stay and there is no doubt it would take a life-changing contract offer to even tempt him.
Walking his dog on beaches close to his home is Bowns’ number one pastime.
“I’m lucky to live in a place where I have four beaches within half a mile to a mile from my front door,” he says. “I take him out around them and over the cliff tops every day and stop off for a coffee half way through (that’s more because the dog throws a strop if we don’t go to his favourite cafe).”
Bowns and fiance Jade run a massage business and he is happy with life after five seasons and close to 300 appearances for Devils, who have won Elite League titles, the play-offs and more.
“I love the pure professionalism of Cardiff Devils and how they treat you at the club,” says Bowns. “No other club compares on that front.
“The owners are superb and have sent me to Calgary to train every summer and I spend a lot of time with them.
“There aren’t many clubs that would do that for you.
“As a city, Cardiff has everything you need within a reasonable distance.
“Go 45 minutes either way and you’re out in the countryside and there are beaches quite close, too.
“The city centre is nice, modern and there were plenty of restaurants around and many things to do. It’s a great place to be.”
Bowns is, without doubt, committed to Devils. It would take a massive, long-term offer to tempt him.
Equally, would clubs in the American League, KHL, NHL or any of the top European competitions take what would be a risk in what is a crucial position.
Bowns spent three seasons playing for Sheffield’s English Premier League Steeldogs before being offered a chance to step up to the top-flight by then Hull coach Sylvain Cloutier.
He spent two further years honing his craft in East Yorkshire before Cardiff called.
Former Steelers coach Paul Thompson was clear how he felt seeing Bowns shine for Devils and GB, saying: “How Ben Bowns is not at Steelers is beyond me – it’s criminal.
“I just shake my head when I think about it. How can that guy slip through? What were the people who were here previously doing or thinking?
“I tried to sign Ben when I was in Coventry but, to me, it’s just baffling that a guy who was born down the road from here is playing for one of our main rivals for the league title.”
Bowns is settled in Wales. He adores Devils and loves the area he lives in.
If any club wants to tempt him away it would take a massive offer. My gut feeling is that Bownsy will be playing for Cardiff Devils next season.
I sincerely hope he is.
The only absolute certainty, though, is that Bowns will NOT join another Elite League club.
Schedule for GB at the 2019 World Championship in Slovakia (face-off times local time).
Saturday, May 11: Germany 3 Great Britain 1
Sunday, May 12: Great Britain 0, Canada 8
Tuesday, May 14: Great Britain v Denmark 4.15pm
Wednesday, May 15: USA v Great Britain 4.15pm
Friday, May 17: Finland v Great Britain 8.15pm
Saturday, May 18: Great Britain v Slovakia 8.15pm
Monday, May 20: France v Great Britain 4.15pm
Ben Bowns – Cardiff Devils
Thomas Murdy – Cardiff Devils
Jackson Whistle – Sheffield Steelers
Tim Billingsley – Nottingham Panthers
Dallas Ehrhardt – Manchester Storm
Steve Lee – Nottingham Panthers
Evan Mosey – Cardiff Devils
Ben O’Connor – Sheffield Steelers
David Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Mark Richardson – Cardiff Devils
Paul Swindlehurst – Belfast Giants
Ollie Betteridge – Nottingham Panthers
Ben Davies – Guildford Flames
Robert Dowd – Sheffield Steelers
Robert Farmer – Nottingham Panthers
Luke Ferrara – Coventry Blaze
Mike Hammond – Manchester Storm
Liam Kirk – Peterborough Petes
Robert Lachowicz – Nottingham Panthers
Ben Lake – Coventry Blaze
Joey Lewis – ESV Kaufbeuren
Matthew Myers – Cardiff Devils
Brett Perlini – Nottingham Panthers
Jonathan Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Colin Shields – Belfast Giants