Toronto Maple Leafs’ Easton Cowan hoping to live out childhood dream with Canada’s world junior team

Easton Cowan (Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff)
Photo credit:Easton Cowan (Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff)
Steven Ellis
6 months ago
On Dec. 12, 2021, Easton Cowan was busy trying to do whatever it took to help the Jr. B Komoka Kings get to the top of the GOJHL standings.
Two years later, he’s fighting for a spot on Canada’s world junior team in Oakville, Ontario.
It’s been a whirlwind few years for Cowan, who was drafted No. 28 by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2023. It was a shocking pick at the time, with many scouts not projecting him to go in the top 50, let alone 28th. But the Leafs loved what they saw. And now, few prospects have elevated their game over the past few months than Cowan.
The London Knights star is on pace for 109 points in his second full OHL campaign, a big step up from his 53 points in 68 games last year. The Knights are one of the favorites to go the distance this year, and Cowan is a huge reason why.
But even Cowan couldn’t have seen this coming.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Cowan told reporters after practice with Canada on Monday. I played Junior B, it was the right route for me. Had to trust the process there with the Knights. They did what was right at the time and I felt like it helped me a lot.”
Cowan was so off the radar that he wasnt’t one of the 45 players that took part in Hockey Canada’s summer meetings roster. In fact, he has never represented Canada internationally, so this would be his first if he ends up making the roster. Cowan isn’t a lock, but his energetic play and high hockey IQ would make him an intriguing piece player to watch in camp.
Canada won’t lack skill, with the likes of Matthew Savoie, Jordan Dumais and Jagger Firkus looking to lead the way. So Cowan will have his work cut out for him.
“I think I can go out there and show that I can play any role they need me to play, top-six, bottom-six, PK, power play,” Cowan said. “Just go out there, work hard and have that dog-on-a-bone mentality.”
There’s a possibility Cowan could find himself in a depth role alongside fellow Leafs prospect Fraser Minten. The two are rooming together in Oakville, just like they did during training camp a few months back. Minten ended up sticking with the club for the first four games of the season, while Cowan – a major longshot to make the team – managed to be one of the last cuts.
“He’s a great guy,” Cowan said about Minten. “He doesn’t snore too loud, so that’s good.”
Canada will play two scrimmages against the USPORTS all-star lineup – Tuesday at 3:00 PM ET and Wednesday at 12:00 PM. Canada’s roster will be announced Wednesday evening, so Cowan won’t have enough time to impress Alan Letang and Canada’s coaching staff if he’s going to join the team for its trip to Sweden later this week.
But Cowan’s season to date – whether it be his strong preseason showing or his dominance in the OHL – has been intriguing, to say the least. Having a chance to represent Canada and challenge for a medal would be a huge ego boost for a player who continues to prove people wrong at every level. It won’t be easy, but it’s that type of adversity that makes Cowan a better player.
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