Warriors-Oct26-Howden1Former Warriors forward Quinton Howden.

The Moose Jaw Warriors said goodbye to one of the most popular players in team history during the home opener as Quinton Howden was on hand to drop the puck on the new season during the ceremonial opening face off.

Howden's career in Moose Jaw spanned four full seasons after he made his debut as a 15-year-old at the end of the 2007-08 season.  He scored 111 goals and finished with 179 points in 244 games, while being the face of the franchise after the Warriors selected him first overall in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.

Howden says Moose Jaw will always have a special place with him, "I've met so many people, I've done so many community things, I've done so many things with the fans, and I'll remember every single event.  I'll remember everything I ever did and everything these fans have done for me.

"I'll always remember this city and I'll always remember the fans, and whenever I can, I will come back here."

Howden is moving on to the next stage of his hockey career, which will take him down to the AHL with the Florida Panthers' farm team, the San Antonio Rampage.

The 20-year-old forward says he's looking to step in and have success in the AHL this season, "Hopefully the game isn't too much different as far as speed-wise for me, but I think I'll get use to it.  The strength of guys will be a lot different to play, but I'm looking forward to the chance.

"As much as I feel like I know what it's going to be like, I don't.  Going up there I'm the young guy now, so it's something different to cope with, but something I'm looking forward to."

The home opener was a different experience for Howden as he got to watch the game from the stands as a fan as oppose to being on the ice.  He says that took some getting used to, "I don't know how to explain it.  I watched warm up and it was funny because when you're on the ice, everyone has a routine and all the guys are still doing the same thing, so it's weird not being out there.

"As much as I do want to be out there, it's awesome for me to watch and experience something like this because I never usually get to go to a game for fun."

Howden will be on ice this weekend in San Antonio as he takes part in Rampage training camp.  Kenton Miller is also off to an AHL camp, he'll be in Chicago with the Ice Wolves.

Quinton Howden joined James Gallo and Derek Kletzel during the second intermission of the home opener on Country 100.

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