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Easton Cowan authors signature performance at Memorial Cup

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Photo credit:X.com/London Knights
Arun Srinivasan
22 days ago
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Easton Cowan authored his signature performance at the 2024 Memorial Cup, scoring with 85 seconds remaining to lead the London Knights to a 4-2 victory over the Saginaw Spirit, punching his team’s ticket to the tournament final.
Cowan added an empty-netter to secure the victory for the powerhouse Knights. Billed as a matchup between the Toronto Maple Leafs’ prized prospect squaring off against the potential future of hockey in Saginaw wunderkind Michael Misa, Cowan won the matchup and the subsequent narrative comprehensively.
With the game and a berth to the final on the line, Cowan slipped the Spirit’s defenders to get wide open before tucking the puck past Saginaw’s Andrew Oke for the game-winner. It was the moment we’ve all been waiting for as Maple Leafs observers — or anyone with a vested interest in Cowan’s development. He recorded six shots and it’s clear that Cowan is improving as the tournament marches forward.
“I’m actually getting chills right now,” Cowan said post-game via The Canadian Press. “It’s a dream come true … I think all of us will be ready to go (in the final). A couple days off will be nice. We’re just going to have fun with it and treat it like another game.”
Cowan already captured OHL MVP and OHL Playoff MVP honours and he could pull off a Triple Crown of sorts, one year after the Maple Leafs selected him with the No. 28 overall pick. Widely considered a reach at the time, Cowan has silenced his critics entirely and will genuinely have a chance to compete for a NHL roster spot next fall.
As for Wednesday’s contest, Cowan established himself as the best player on the ice from the outset. Saginaw’s Alex Christopoulos opened the scoring but the reigning OHL champions weren’t fazed. Cowan cut through the neutral zone with speed, dropped the puck to teammate Kasper Halttunen, continued his drive to the net. Halttunen — a 2023 second-round pick of the San Jose Sharks — unleash a laser to tie the game in the first period.
Halttunen also received a primary assist on London’s second goal, setting up Denver Barkey. Barkey led the Knights in scoring and is a 2023 third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Saginaw’s Joey Willis tied the game at 2-2, receiving a primary assist from 2024 Draft-eligible Zayne Parekh. Parekh is expected to be a top-eight pick in this summer’s entry draft. As for Misa? We don’t want to pick on a 17-year-old kid but he was virtually nonexistent throughout the contest. Misa will contest for the first overall pick in the 2025 NHL Draft, he’s currently considered the No. 2 prospect in the class behind U.S. National Development Team standout James Hagens, and perhaps he’ll be a household name in a few years. It wasn’t his night, however, and Cowan unveiled his best game of the tournament.
Yeehaw, Cowboy! Cowan’s Knights now await the winner of the semifinal between Saginaw and the Moose Jaw Warriors, who captured the WHL championship.
 
Cowan is the most exciting Maple Leafs prospect to enter the Memorial Cup since Mitch Marner won the title eight years ago with the Knights. Perhaps history is prone to repeat itself. We’re one game away from finding out and Cowan could be in line for a Triple Crown, the best possible result the Maple Leafs could’ve asked for upon selecting him with the No. 28 pick last summer.

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