Leafs prospect responds to being called a ''reach'' following this year's draft

Mike Armenti
August 1, 2023  (9:48)

When the Leafs stepped up to the podium on the draft floor in Nashville on July 28th, it's safe to say that when they announced the name "Easton Cowan", it was a bit of a shock to most. The pick was viewed as a bit of a reach right from the get-go, but the Leafs didn't view the pick as a reach by any stretch of the imagination.

There were a number of enticing prospects remaining on the board at the time of the Leafs' pick at 28th overall, including Bradly Nadeau, Mikhail Gulyayev, Gavin Brindley, Ethan Gauthier and Andrew Cristall - all of whom would have made excellent picks in that 28-32 range. Still, there was something about Cowan, for the Leafs, that really stood out. According to reports following the draft, it was believed that there were multiple teams who also held Cowan in high regard and may have selected him had the Leafs not done so with the 28th overall pick.
Naturally, Cowan, being an Ontario boy and playing for the London Knights, he had heard all of the chatter about the Leafs selecting him 28th being viewed as a reach. The 18-year-old forward spoke with the London Free Press this week, revealing that he doesn't put too much stock into what others may think.
"People want to call it a reach, they can call it a reach. It's their opinion and it is what it is. They don't think I'm that good, so be it. It's not my problem. I'm just going to focus on myself and try to stay positive. You're in those lights now, so people will hate on whatever you do in life. That's what it comes down to now, so I use it as fuel. I kind of laugh it off. I'm going to do what I love to do and that's compete, have fun and try to win." - Easton Cowan on people calling him a reach at 28th overall

Cowan posted 20 goals and 53 points in 68 games during his 2nd OHL season, but it was his explosion during the playoffs that really put him on the map for teams at the draft. Cowan racked up 21 points in 20 playoff games this past season.
Cowan's outlook on the whole situation speaks to his maturity and intelligence. Not only that, but it shows that he isn't concerned with what others think, which is vitally important to playing in a market like Toronto.
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Leafs prospect responds to being called a ''reach'' following this year's draft

Was Easton Cowan a reach at 28th overall?

Yes3746.8 %
No,4253.2 %
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