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Leafs prospect Easton Cowan on the Memorial Cup: ‘I love playing on the big stage’

Easton Cowan (Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff)
Photo credit:Easton Cowan (Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff)
Mike Gould
1 month ago
Easton Cowan has grown immeasurably as a prospect since being selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
The Mount Brydges, Ontario product was one of the youngest players in last year’s draft and put up 96 points (34 goals, 62 assists) in 54 games with the London Knights during the 2023-24 regular season. Even more impressively, Cowan racked up 10 goals and 34 points in 18 Ontario Hockey League playoff games as the Knights steamrolled their way to a berth in the Memorial Cup.
Just three days shy of his 19th birthday, Cowan sat down for an interview with TSN’s Mark Masters on Friday to discuss his impressive D+1 season — including what could still be to come.
“I love playing on the big stage,” Cowan said — a comment that will surely resonate with Leafs fans after another early playoff exit. “I love cameras on you, everyone’s watching you. It really shows, when the lights are on you, how big you are.”

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Cowan finished second on the Knights to Philadelphia Flyers prospect Denver Barkey in points during the regular season but finished first by a wide margin in the playoffs. Only San Jose Sharks prospect Kasper Halttunen scored more playoff goals (17) than Cowan’s 10.
Although he was widely regarded as an off-the-board pick at the time of last year’s draft, Cowan has won over the vast majority of Leafs Nation in the year since with his lights-out play in London. Nevertheless, he acknowledged to Masters that there are still some skeptics holding out.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of haters still. There’s still a couple out there. They find a way to hate on you and it’s funny,” Cowan said. There’s still a lot of lovers. There’s no more than there were last year, that’s for sure.
“Haters are going to hate. It is what it is. There’s going to be people that love you, too, which is great. Either way, you’ve just got to keep working and staying positive and just be a kid at the end of the day.”
Cowan certainly is a kid. As a 2005-born player, he’s ineligible to play in the AHL on a full-time basis next season. He’ll either be a Leaf or back in the OHL.
Until then, Cowan’s next task is the Memorial Cup, in which London will face off against the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit, the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, and the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs. London will play its first game of the tournament against Drummondville on May 25.

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