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Easton Cowan ‘has Leafs fan-favourite written throughout him’ Categorical Instances

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LONDON ,Ont. — Easton Cowan is taking part in his finest hockey as a London Knight.

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That comes on the heels of admitting he struggled to search out his recreation with the medal-less Canadian world junior squad final month.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2023 first-round decide (twenty eighth general) has 19 objectives and 36 factors in 30 video games, and has already eclipsed final season’s 53-point rookie output, which took 68 video games to provide.

He ranks second to Philadelphia Flyers third-rounder Denver Barkey (64 factors) in workforce scoring, however extra importantly, is making a distinction within the Knights’ season-best 14-game win streak.

The expansion in his recreation has been famous by at the least one NHL scout.

“Cowan has a whole lot of methods to play,” mentioned the scout, who requested anonymity. “The factors are a giant bonus however I’m positive Toronto thought it was getting a high-energy participant who would enhance offensively. I feel he’s an offensive play-driver and he has actually taken a step this 12 months.

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“Essentially the most thrilling factor about Easton Cowan is his recreation simply appears to get higher. He went from taking part in on London’s high line final 12 months with (Ryan) Winterton and Barkey to changing into ‘The Man’. ”

The scout mentioned the very best viewings of Cowan this season had been whereas taking part in within the center with Finnish winger Kasper Halttunen — a giant, bodily shooter. Cowan has a knack for realizing when to get somebody the puck and does it at excessive pace.

“I feel I can play anyplace within the lineup,” Cowan mentioned. “Convey that recreation with the hounding mindset and create turnovers off of it. I really feel it’s been serving to me out not too long ago and whoever you’re on the market with on a line, all people has that hockey sense.

“It’s been actually good these days and whenever you work onerous defensively, it results in offensive probabilities. I would like that good 200-foot method as a result of that interprets to the subsequent stage. I wish to put up factors and produce for my workforce but additionally shut down (the opposition) for my workforce, too.”

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Easton Cowan of the London Knights stays focused on the puck after being dumped from behind. (Derek Ruttan/London Free Press/Postmedia Network)
Easton Cowan of the London Knights stays targeted on the puck after being dumped from behind. (Derek Ruttan/London Free Press/Postmedia Community)

It’s a novel set of abilities.

“He has some fourth-line attributes however performs at a first- or second-line stage,” the scout mentioned. “He has Leafs fan-favourite written throughout him. He’s so energetic, however he’s not a fourth-line wind-up toy. He is aware of his strengths — pace and considering the sport — and performs to them. I hate to say it however Knights followers would possibly wish to watch him lots this 12 months as a result of I feel he would possibly play within the NHL subsequent season.”

The powerhouse Knights want to solidify their maintain on high spot general within the Ontario Hockey League standings.

“We’re a workforce,” Cowan, the 18-year-old from Mt. Brydges mentioned. “That explains what we’re doing rather well. We’re all pulling the rope the identical means and all of us simply wish to hold taking part in and successful hockey video games.

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“It’s just like final 12 months. We had a very shut workforce and I feel we’re studying from that lots. We’re displaying the younger guys what it takes to win.”

Final Friday on the Aud in Kitchener, Cowan’s effort to tie it with a short-handed aim within the second-period despatched a message to each side. This wasn’t going to end up the best way the Rangers needed.

One of many themes of the two-game set with Kitchener and the blowout win over Saginaw two weeks in the past was that London has some gamers which are very tough for anyone to defend.

They tackle the Peterborough Petes on Friday (7 p.m.) on the Budweiser Gardens in a rematch of final spring’s OHL remaining.

rpyette@postmedia.com
X: @ryanatlfpress

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