In the world of NHL hockey, young prospects often are key to a team’s future success. That might be especially true of Easton Cowan, this year’s Toronto Maple Leafs’ first-round selection. Cowan was selected in the first round (28th overall) of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
Cowan might not be the biggest player on the ice, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the potential to become a great hockey player in Toronto. In this post, I’ll share five reasons why my research suggests Cowan could be a future star with the Maple Leafs.
Reason One: Cowan Has Explosive Growth and Potential
Cowan’s journey through the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) has shown his remarkable growth as a player. From only playing seven games in his first season, this season he put up 53 points (scoring 20 goals and adding 33 assists) in 68 games. It was during the playoffs, however, that his skills (or perhaps his determination) shone through. He totaled 21 points in 20 games.
This kind of growth and ability to play when it counts (the postseason) underscores Cowan’s potential. He sure caught the eye of Maple Leafs’ scouts.
Reason Two: Cowan Has Tenacity and Determination
Despite his youth, Cowan’s playing style demonstrates the level of tenacity and determination essential for NHL success. He’s willing to battle for pucks, drive to the net, and confidently compete in high-pressure playoff games. These qualities are often the strengths of great players. If so, his play thus far bodes well for his future in the league.
Reason Three: Cowan Has the Organization’s Confidence
It’s interesting that not only did the Maple Leafs draft him higher than he was thought to go, but they also doubled down and wasted no time showing their confidence in him. Recently, they signed Cowan to an entry-level contract (ELC).
This move clearly shows that the organization sees him as a key piece of their future. These contracts are not just formalities. More than that, they show their belief in Cowan’s abilities and his potential to make a significant impact.
Reason Four: Cowan Will Be Developed Using a Patient Approach
It bodes well that the Maple Leafs are not going to rush him into the NHL. Instead, the organization has a clear plan for Cowan’s development. And, it’s the path of patience.
Cowan will return to the London Knights. There he’ll have the chance to dominate and refine his skills at his own pace. This slow and steady approach is pragmatic, considering his age and the current roster dynamics.
Reason Five: Cowan Will Play in a Supportive Environment
Cowan is entering an environment that’s dedicated to building his talent. The Maple Leafs’ scouting team, coaching staff, and player development personnel will closely monitor his progress. This supportive system will help Cowan mature as a player and as a professional.
The Bottom Line
As the 2023-24 season approaches, Cowan is sitting well. He’s been drafted by a team he loves; he’ll return to junior hockey with the London Knights; and, he’ll have a comfortable path to follow – no rush at all – as he begins his journey hopefully to the NHL.
Cowan’s determination, growth, and potential could help him achieve NHL greatness – someday. It might take a couple of seasons, but the Maple Leafs are ready to do the job well and nurture his journey.
Good luck to the just-turned-18-year-old.
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