With all the attention on Fraser Minten, the Toronto Maple Leafs have another top prospect who is dominating the Ontario Hockey League since returning to London.
Drafted in the first round, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Ontario native Easton Cowan 28th overall and he got his first taste of the NHL this September during training camp.
Early in the preseason all the talk was about Cowan’s game which came from his relentless style of play that led to several scoring chances, including a goal and a penalty shot early on. The London Knight forward would finish the pre-season with three points in four games and averaged over 16-minutes of ice-time per night.
Coach Sheldon Keefe was often found praising the forward’s playing style and had to talk himself from giving him too many minutes as he had others that needed to get their reps in.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Top Prospect Dominating Early On
The Maple Leafs elected to keep Cowan with the club right until the end of training camp which resulted in him missing the first five games of his London Knights season, but he did not miss a beat since rejoining his junior club.
In his season debut, Cowan would open the scoring against the Peterborough Petes that helped lead to a 3-2 victory and finishing with that lone point.
In his second game, the first round pick collected two more points that led to an 8-1 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs and after finishing with another two points in his third game, Cowan exploded in his most recent game on Wednesday night.
Against Wayne Gretzky’s hometown team the Brantford Bulldogs, Cowan would score the eventual game winner in a 5-1 victory and ended the game with four points, leaving him with nine points in his first four games.
Since his return, the London Knights have gone 3-1-0 to help jump out to the Western Ontario Conference lead, while sitting just one point behind Mississauga Steelheads for the OHL league lead.
Cowan is averaging the highest points per game of any player in the OHL and already sits 18th in the league in scoring. It won’t be long now until the 18-year old is starting to hear his name in talks about joining the camp for the World Junior Championships.
The Mount Brydges native was not projected to be part of the Toronto Maple Leafs future for a couple more seasons, however with Fraser Minten opening the door for 19-year olds to have a legit shot at making the team, Cowan may be able to find himself an opportunity to crack the line-up next season.