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Cowan keeps the streak alive, Grebyonkin’s playoff glory: Leafs Prospect Roundup

Nikita Grebyonkin
Photo credit:KHL
Nick Richard
22 days ago
Welcome back for another edition of the Leafs Prospect Roundup! From Easton Cowan looking to continue his streak and Nikita Grebyonkin making his mark in the KHL playoffs to NCAA schedules wrapping up, it has been a busy week in the world of Leafs prospects, so let’s get right to it.

Easton Cowan

Cowan missed Wednesday’s game with an upper-body injury, putting his point streak on hold, but he didn’t miss a beat upon his return to London’s lineup on Friday. After notching a pair of assists in each of the Knights’ wins on Friday and Saturday, Cowan has now registered multiple assists in three consecutive outings. That is an impressive run on its own, but more importantly, he has now extended his overall point streak to a franchise-record 34 games – the longest such streak in the OHL since 2000. It has been a remarkable season for the Leafs’ top prospect, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Fraser Minten

Minten hasn’t produced offence the way that he would have liked or the way that many expected this season, but he has settled into a prominent role for one of the top teams in the CHL and become a big part of their success. Following a pair of scoreless outings, he tallied two helpers in Friday’s 6-3 win over Moose Jaw and scored his 21st goal of the season in Saturday’s rematch that saw the Blades fall by a score of 6-3. In 40 games between Kamloops and Saskatoon, Minten has now put up 45 points on the season, and he will be looking to improve upon those totals and help lead the Blades to a Memorial Cup berth.

Dennis Hildeby

After a second straight rough outing on Friday that saw him surrender five goals on just 25 shots against Rochester, Hildeby bounced back with a strong performance on Sunday, stopping 30 of the 31 shots he faced in a 7-1 blowout victory over Laval. The win was Hildeby’s 16th of the season, and he now owns a 2.51 GAA to go along with a .907 SV% through 32 games in his rookie season for the Marlies. He has come back down to earth a bit after a spectacular start to the season, but he is still putting together a solid campaign.

Nikita Grebyonkin

Grebyonkin has been a big part of Metallurg’s offensive attack all season long, and he has stepped it up a level so far in the KHL playoffs. He scored the overtime winner in game six, propelling his club to victory in their first-round series against Amur Khabarovsk, and notched an empty netter to help secure victory in the first game of their second-round matchup with Spartak Moskva. With Metallurg up a game in the second round, Grebyonkin has registered a pair of goals and three assists through seven postseason contests. Still without a contract extension in place, we could see him sign his entry-level deal with the Leafs and join the Marlies whenever Metallurg’s run comes to an end.

Roni Hirvonen

After missing most of the season with a scary eye injury, Hirvonen has started to find his way in his first AHL season. He put together a solid weekend, scoring in Friday’s loss to Rochester and once again in Sunday’s win over Laval. Hirvonen’s four goals and four assists through 23 games don’t exactly jump off the page, but he is looking more comfortable and more impactful as he gains experience and could be in line for a big season with the Marlies in 2024-25.

Artur Akhtyamov

Akhtyamov has been spectacular for Neftyanik so far in the postseason. After powering his club to a sweep in their first-round series, he has now backstopped them to a 3-1 lead in the second round. Through eight playoff appearances, Akhtyamov is 7-1-0 with a 2.27 GAA and .926 SV%. He has checked off all the boxes over the last two seasons, and regardless of how the rest of his playoff run turns out, he looks like a strong candidate to fortify the depth in the Marlies’ crease when his VHL season comes to an end.

Noah Chadwick

Chadwick punctuated a breakout season with a big performance on Saturday night to help Lethbridge clinch a berth in the WHL playoffs. He helped set up a goal earlier in the game before scoring the overtime winner, bringing him to 12 goals and 42 assists in 64 games. With just a few games remaining on the Hurricanes’ regular season schedule, Chadwick has a chance to nearly triple his production from his draft year when he registered five goals and 15 assists in 67 games.

Nick Abruzzese

Following a productive weekend, Abruzzese is closing in on his point total from his rookie AHL season. He notched an assist on Friday, a goal and two helpers on Saturday, and scored once more in Sunday’s win. Abruzzese has been hot with eight points in his last six games and now has 13 goals and 29 assists in 58 games this season, but he still finds himself buried on the Leafs’ depth chart moving forward.

Brandon Lisowsky

Lisowsky put together a productive weekend as well, establishing a new WHL career-high in points in the process. With a pair of goals and an assist on Friday and two more helpers in Saturday’s loss, the young winger is up to 38 goals and 38 assists in 65 games for a stacked Saskatoon team. Lisowsky has continued to trend up since being chosen by the Leafs in the seventh round of the 2022 draft and should have his name on an NHL contract before too long.

Joe Miller

Miller wrapped up his sophomore season at Harvard over the weekend, scoring twice in a losing effort on Friday before being held off the scoresheet in Saturday’s rematch against Cornell. He finished the season with 13 goals and 14 assists in 32 games – five points clear of Harvard’s second-leading scorer – after notching 13 goals and 15 assists in 33 games as a freshman. That might not look like progression on the surface, but Miller took on a larger role on a much weaker team this year and still managed to produce after the likes of Sean Farrell, Alex Laferriere, Matt Coronato, Henry Thrun, and John Farinacci all turned pro after the 2022-23 season.

Veeti Miettinen

Still making a case for an entry-level contract with the Leafs, Miettinen helped lead St. Cloud State to a 2-1 series victory over Western Michigan and a date with Denver in the NCHC semifinals. He had a goal in the first game of the series and closed it out with two more in Sunday’s 5-1 clincher. Miettinen set a career-high with 12 goals in 41 games a season ago, and he has blown that out of the water this year, now with 20 goals and 15 assists through 36 contests. That’s an impressive stat line, but Miettinen’s most impressive statistic might be that he has yet to take a single penalty through 145 NCAA games.

Cade Webber

The newest Leafs prospect‘s statistical profile doesn’t scream “NHLer” by any means, but that isn’t his game. Noted for his defensive prowess and propensity for blocking shots, Webber was named the Hockey East Defensive Defenseman of the Year last week. Webber helped lockdown Northeastern over the weekend, sending Boston University to the Hockey East semifinals against Maine. Given that the Leafs targeted him ahead of the trade deadline, look for Webber to sign an ELC when his collegiate season comes to an end.
Statistics from EliteProspects.com

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