Easton Cowan was the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first-round selection (28th overall) from the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) London Knights in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. One of the first issues that strikes you about Cowan is his youth and his measurement. He turned 18 years outdated at the finish of May, and he’s solely 5-foot-11 and 170 kilos.
But, as the outdated saying goes: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” The Maple Leafs consider Cowan’s willpower and spirit are extra necessary than his bodily measurement. They consider he’s a younger participant with a robust will and willpower who can overcome obstacles, regardless of any disadvantages he might need.
Cowan’s a younger expertise who’s identified for his spirited exhausting work. Yet, he additionally has a smile that simply appears to mild up the room. Just listening to this teenager discuss, he provides you the impression that he’s crammed with persona and drive. He looks as if a genuinely good younger man. Next, we’ll see how he’ll play.
Cowan’s Hockey Journey Thus Far
Cowan’s current hockey journey has been with the London Knights in the OHL. During the 2021-22 season, he performed seven video games, scoring a purpose and including an help. Last season, his efficiency jumped. Playing 68 video games, he scored 20 targets and added 33 assists (for 53 factors), however it wasn’t the common season that sealed his draft choice. During the playoffs, he contributed 21 factors (scoring 9 targets and 12 assists) in 20 video games.
In addition, he confirmed one thing the Maple Leafs wished. He was tenacious, decided, and pushed. Just on the cusp of 18 years, Cowan’s statistics underscored his progress and potential. For the Maple Leafs, that was sufficient to persuade them of the vivid future that awaited him in Toronto. They jumped and far earlier than anyone expected.
The Interesting Story Behind His Name
There’s a novel story behind his title particularly in the hockey world. Might it additionally ring the bell of future — only a bit?
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Named after the sport he’s making an attempt to excel in, Cowan’s first title “Easton” can be the title of a distinguished model in the hockey tools business. Interestingly, when he was requested about that in an interview, he smiled and famous he was a CCM man.
As a word, in the video above of the Hockey Writers Maple Leafs Lounge, Maple Leafs’ writers Peter Baracchini and Jim Parsons focus on Cowan’s upcoming season.
The Path to Recognition: From Draft Year to Present
So, what ought to Maple Leafs’ followers anticipate of Cowan? Although his draft 12 months might need seen him fly considerably below the radar, his explosive second half grabbed the consideration of Maple Leafs’ scouts. That standout efficiency solidified his popularity as a possible star.
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The group’s swift choice to signal Cowan to an entry-level contract (ELC) additionally reveals the group’s confidence in his potential. The group clearly believes in his talents and the contract demonstrated they stand behind him as their alternative. Signing an ELC this early is greater than a formality — it’s an announcement that the Maple Leafs see him as a key half of their future.
Expect Cowan’s Development to Be Slow and Steady
Fans ought to know that Cowan’s development shall be approached with persistence. The Maple Leafs intend to return Cowan to the London Knights and hope he can dominate for this complete season simply as he dominated throughout the latter half of final season. This method helps guarantee his progress is nurtured steadily. Don’t anticipate him to be rushed into the NHL highlight any time quickly.
With the Knights, Cowan can thrive whereas he develops his expertise below the watchful eyes of their teaching employees and the Maple Leafs’ scouting group. Given that he’s solely 18 years outdated, it appears clever to permit him to develop at a slower tempo. In truth, the choice can be pragmatic. There actually could be no area for him on the massive membership’s roster proper now anyway. Better to go slowly and attempt to set the stage for a neater transition to the skilled (and finally NHL) degree.
Planning for Cowan’s Future Promise
In the phase of The Maple Leafs Lounge above, each Baracchini and Parsons stress the significance of Cowan’s gradual development. They envision Cowan’s journey shifting ahead — one other 12 months in the London system, adopted by a transition to the AHL, the place his progress will be carefully monitored. They word that the Maple Leafs are dedicated to providing him the time and assets he must mature each as a participant and an expert.
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As the 2023-24 season approaches, Cowan finds himself at a pivotal however comfy profession juncture. He’s been drafted, he confirmed effectively at the Maple Leafs’ improvement camp, and he’s signed an ELC. Now his job is to return to his outdated Knights group and hit the ice exhausting. That additionally is sensible in a method as a result of Cowan famous that London’s Nazem Kadri was his favourite player growing up.
Cowan is aware of what the group expects. He is aware of they’ll be affected person however he additionally is aware of they need him to thrive. Sending him again to London with a transparent directive to dominate looks as if one thing he ought to have the ability to deal with with confidence. As effectively, figuring out that the group will take a gradual highway with him additionally permits him to maintain his head on straight. He gained’t have to fret about something previous what’s instantly in entrance of him as he engages in his season.
Cowan’s Plan Makes Good Sense
Cowan’s eventual progress to the Maple Leafs’ roster appears to be well-crafted. It each advantages him as a participant and helps the group. Who is aware of the way it will go, however the plan appears flawless to me. That’s about nearly as good as it will possibly get for proper now.