Toronto Maple Leafs select Easton Cowan with first-round pick

Photo credit:Steven Ellis
Cam Lewis
9 months ago
With the first selection in the 2023 NHL draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs took forward Easton Cowan of the London Knights.
The pick was at No. 28 overall and was originally owned by the Boston Bruins. The Bruins sent the pick to the Capitals to acquire Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway before the trade deadline and Washington flipped that pick to Toronto in exchange for Rasmus Sandin.
Cowan is listed at 5’10”, 170 pounds and has primarily been a centre throughout his career in the Ontario Hockey League. He scored 20 goals and 53 points over 68 regular season games for the Knights this season and added nine goals and 21 points over 20 playoff games.
This selection by the Leafs is a reach based on what scouts and pundits have to say about Cowan. His highest ranking by a major source coming into the draft was No. 34 overall on Craig Button’s list. Bob McKenzie had him at No. 53, Elite Prospects had him at No. 66, Daily Faceoff and McKeen’s both had him at 78, and The Hockey News had him at No. 89.
Here’s what Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis wrote about him in his final draft rankings post…
“After spending last year in Jr. B, Cowan exploded for 20 goals and 53 points this year. He played his best hockey during the playoffs, though, recording 21 points in 20 games. And it feels like he’s just scratching the surface, which could make Cowan an excellent value pick.”
The report from the draft floor in Nashville was that general manager Brad Treliving was working the phones, likely to look for an opportunity to trade down to recoup some draft picks for tomorrow.
Toronto has two more picks in the second day of the draft but they won’t come until the fifth and sixth rounds. Their second-round pick was moved for Mark Giordano, their third-round pick was traded for Luke Schenn, and their fourth-round pick was traded for a pick in last year’s draft that they used on goaltender Dennis Hildeby.

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