Easton Cowan sees Mitch Marner as a great role model

Photo credit:twitter.com/londonknights
Shane Seney
27 days ago
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Maple Leafs top prospect Easton Cowan is the first player since Mitch Marner to win OHL MVP and playoff MVP in the same season. As it turns out, Cowan doesn’t just have lots in common with Marner, who accomplished the same feat in 2016: Cowan views the Leafs’ star as a role model.
Cowan has been on his media tour as his London Knights get set for the Memorial Cup next weekend and he recently caught up with TSN’s Mark Masters. Marner became the focal point in a lot of the conversation. Cowan made it as clear as day that he looks up to Marner in more ways than one:
“He texted me after I won the OHL MVP, he text me after winning the Western Conference, then he text me a couple of days ago after the MVP for the playoffs and then winning,” Cowan said of Marner via Masters. “I hear from him a lot. We text quite a bit so it’s pretty cool. He’s a great role model for me and like I said, it’s pretty cool when he’s texting you and it’s cool to win the same stuff he’s won.”
Cowan went on to mention that Marner gives him advice from time to time on things and how much it means to him to hear from the Maple Leafs’ forward. He was also quick to point out, while what he’s doing this season and during the OHL playoffs was special, it hardly compares to what Marner was able to pull off in 2016:
Cowan vs MarnerRegular SeasonOHL Playoffs
Mitch Marner 201657 games: 39 goals,  77 assists
116 points
18 games: 16 goals, 28 assists
44 points
Easton Cowan 202454 Games: 34 goals, 62 assists
96 points
18 games: 10 goals, 24 assists
34 points
Reflecting on both of their seasons, it’s pretty wild how dominant Marner was back in 2016. The Knights were an absolute wagon in 2016 and cruised all the way to a Memorial Cup win. They went 3-0 during the round-robin stage, scoring 20 goals while only allowing five and capped it off by defeating the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 3-2 in the Cup final. Marner was awarded the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the tournament MVP, recording one assist in the final and 14 points in four games. Cowan is hopeful he can continue to follow in Marner’s footsteps, lead his team to a Memorial Cup victory and perhaps add one more individual award to his mantle.

Marner’s mentorship will be beneficial

Cowan is very lucky to have Marner in his life and have someone to idolize, considering all the pressures that come with trying to win a Memorial Cup, along with being a top Maple Leafs prospect. It’s not easy and many first-rounders haven’t been able to translate OHL success in the NHL.
Marner’s been able to produce consistently as a Leaf. Marner collected 61 points in 77 games during his rookie season in 2016-17,. If Cowan makes Toronto’s roster next season, it’s doubtful he’ll be able to step in and contribute 60-plus points in his first year. Marner averaged 16:48 of ice-time during his first season, including 2:22 each night on the power-play. If Cowan makes the Leafs next season, he’s not going to being playing nearly as much and won’t be jumping in on the first power-play unit. These are different times in Toronto, and Cowan will have to carve his role on the third line his first season if he wants to stick around and have an impact at the NHL level — at least to start.
The Maple Leafs are loving what they are seeing so far from their top prospect. Cowan mentioned to Masters that he’s also heard from Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving and assistant general manager Hayley Wickenheiser.

Where does Cowan rank among the team’s priorities? 

Needless to say, it’s going to be an interesting offseason for the Maple Leafs. Craig Berube will be introduced as head coach at a press conference Tuesday. Management has confirmed ‘everything is on the table’ this summer when it comes to the roster which could include Marner being asked to waive his no-movement clause to be traded in the final season of his contract. It’s also worth pointing out, Cowan’s future as a Leaf isn’t necessarily set in stone.
Nation Network’s Nick Alberga recently stated that Cowan shouldn’t be seen as untouchable on the trade market. Matt Larkin of Daily Faceoff sees Cowan, Matthew Knies, Auston Matthews and William Nylander as the Leafs’ only untouchables.
Treliving is likely pulling off a couple of bold trades this summer as he looks to address the defense core and find an elite goaltender. Moving out Marner and Cowan would certainly be one way to accomplish his goals. Whether it would be a smart decision to give up on either of them remains to be seen and could very well come back to bite the Maple Leafs should Treliving pull the trigger. As it stands right now, moving Marner seems much more likely than giving up on one of the organization’s most promising prospects.

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