5 2024 NHL Draft Eligibles Who Could Be "The Next Easton Cowan"

Easton Cowan Came Out Of Almost Nowhere, Going From Relative Unknown To 1st Round Draft Pick In A Year. Here's 5 Players This Year Who May Follow A Similar Path.
Jett Luchanko (#7)
Jett Luchanko (#7) / Dennis Pajot/GettyImages
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1 - Sam O'Reilly - C - London (OHL)

2023-24 - OHL - 46GP 15G 28A 43P

The easiest comparison to make out of anyone in this draft as the closest to Easton Cowan is a player who's gone through the same development as the Leafs first rounder.

Not only are Cowan and O'Reilly currently teammates, but the two took similar career paths. Like Cowan, O'Reilly spent his DY-1 season in the GOJHL, O'Reilly netting 26 Goals with 37 Assists for 63 points in 35 Games for the London Nationals, along with 5 games for the Knights. O'Reilly had a 1.8PPG in the GOJHL vs Cowan's 1.42.

Like Cowan, O'Reilly's offense has translated to the OHL, with O'Reilly having 15 Goals, 28 Assists & 43 Points for the Knights this season, leading OHL Rookies in scoring. O'Reilly and Cowan has played as temmates in recent games, with the two having strong chemistry. O'Reilly's faceoff abilities has pushed Cowan to the wing when they play together.

O'Reilly doesn't have the high-end transition game and puck carrying skill Cowan has, but is a good playmaker with a solid defensive game, willing to challenge at both ends of the ice. He may not go as high as Cowan, but has a solid foundation to replicate his London teammate.

What made Cowan able to stand out to scouts was an elite playoff performance. With the Knights currently one of the top teams in the OHL, expect O'Reilly to be given a strong chance to prove himself as a top prospect in a top-six role for a contending Knights squad.