In my first analysis of Fraser Minten's game at the WJC, I highlighted some critical aspects of his game that I thought could be worth looking at for improvement in the future. Watching Cowan's game footage, it's hard to come up with anything negative besides what you see on the scoresheet, and even then what I viewed seems to almost make up for the lack of points, perhaps little consolation to anyone not a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
The stats alone don't reveal what Cowan did at the World Juniors.
Just viewing the point totals would lead to immediate questions, but don't reflect what Cowan did at the tournament, and what he can do as well, although the fact he didn't connect is a bit of a difficult pill in the end knowing that Canada flamed out in the Quarter Finals. The shooting numbers indicate Cowan could have found ways to bury those chances eventually, but in an elimination tournament, you don't get the time to refine the shots that aren't going in.
Cowan is eligible for the next World Juniors, and has a good shot at being present for the second straight year if he's not in the NHL, likely once again filling a role in Canada's top-nine, with what the Canadians will hope brings a better result.
This tournament showed that Cowan, despite not making an impact on the scoresheet, was more than capable of hagning with the best players of his peer group. Although finishing is going to be essential to not just Cowan, but to the rest of the Canadians next tournament.
What will be interesting is if Cowan plays at Center for Canada, or if potential fellow returnees in Brayden Yager, Nate Danielson, Carson Rehkopf & perhaps even Macklin Celebrini take spots alongside possible newcomers in Calum Ritchie, Berkly Catton & Cayden Lindstrom.
Logic makes it probable that the smaller Cowan will probably fit a winger role once more for the Canadians if he gets a redemption chance for next season, and given his hard-working style of play, an ability Toronto Maple Leafs fans are slowly becoming more accustomed to, it'll be hard to root against it happening.