London Knights forward Easton Cowan scored a huge goal for the Knights in OHL playoff action last night
Photo credit: Natalie Shaver, OHL Images

Easton Cowan fires up the crowd after scoring huge playoff goal

Published April 3, 2024 at 10:05
BY MIKE ARMENTI

London Knights forward and Leafs prospect Easton Cowan got the last laugh in Game 3 of their series with the Flint Firebirds in the OHL playoffs, with Cowan scoring a huge playoff goal and firing up the crowd.

The scene occurred early in the London Knights' 4-3 win over the Firebirds on Tuesday evening in Game 3 of their first round matchup. With just under 7 minutes remaining in the first period, Knights forward Jacob Julien dropped a pass back to London Knights' regular season leading point-getter Denver Barkey, who wired a quick pass across to Cowan, who sent a rocket past Flint goaltender Nathaniel Day. The Edmonton Oilers' 6th round pick in 2023 had absolutely no time to react, and just like that, the Knights took the 2-1 lead.

Following the goal, Cowan had skated immediately over to a spot just inside of the Firebirds blueline, pointing directly at what many believed to be a Firebirds fan who had been heckling he and the Knights throughout the first frame. It was quite the spectacle, and even the play-by-play announcer was entertained by Cowan's actions following the goal.




What nobody knew at the time was that Cowan wasn't going after a heckler at all. The 18-year-old Maple Leafs prospect actually had family in the building in Flint and that's who he was so fired up to acknowledge following his beautiful one-timer, as London Knights radio play-caller Mike Stubbs confirmed.


That fire and that passion is what makes Cowan such an exciting prospect to watch. He plays with an edge and a ton of intensity for a player who isn't overly large, which is likely a big part of the reason why scout Jason Bukala likened him to ex-Leaf Darcy Tucker. The feisty 18-year-old is all heart, and he certainly has some huge shoes to fill with that comparison, but with his tremendous work ethic and no-quit attitude, Cowan has all the potential in the world to come in and be a buzzsaw for the Maple Leafs, perhaps as soon as next season, if the team believes he's too good for the level of competition he'll face in another junior season.

The Knights put up 36 shots in the contest to Flint's 28 shots, but after choking away a 3-1 lead in the 3rd period, the Knights dominated in OT, firing 11 shots on goal to Flint's 5, eventually skating away with the win off of the stick of Knights winger and St. Louis Blues prospect Landon Sim.



Cowan has been a huge contributor for the London Knights in their first round series against the Firebirds



With last night's win, the Knights have taken a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Firebirds in round 1. Cowan has played an integral role for the Knights, as expected, racking up 4 points (2G, 2A) in his team's first 3 games of the playoffs. Both of Cowan's assists have come on the power play, while both of his goals have came at even strength.

Cowan has yet to produce any points while shorthanded in the playoffs, but he shared a lead across the entire OHL with teammate Denver Barkey in shorthanded goals this season, with both players producing 7 shorthanded goals. He's a unique player in the sense that he's dangerous in any situation, which should be very exciting for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In last year's playoffs, Cowan was absolutel electric, producing 21 points in 20 games for London, en route to an appearance in the OHL Championship series. Unfortunately, the Knights lost in 6 to the Peterborough Petes, so you know that Cowan is hungry and motivated to win an OHL Championship this season.

For Cowan, this entire year must have been an absolute whirlwind for him, first breaking out in last season's playoffs, then attending the NHL's Draft Combine, then being selected in the 1st round, 28th overall by his favourite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cowan would then go on to attend his first NHL training camp and would not only acquit himself well, but actually be a standout during camp, before ultimately being sent back down to his junior club in London, where he'd go on to finish with 96 points in 54 games, including a 36-game point streak.

You'd think that a year like this one would go to his head, but Cowan remains humble and continues to be a workhorse for the Knights game in and game out, which has only helped him maintain his tremendous pace, even into this year's playoffs. I've been saying it since the beginning - this kid is just built different and he's going to be a good one for the Leafs for many years to come.
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April 3   |   377 answers
Easton Cowan fires up the crowd after scoring huge playoff goal

Can you see the comparison between Easton Cowan and ex-Leaf Darcy Tucker?

Yes18448.8 %
No10026.5 %
I hope he becomes Darcy Tucker-lite9324.7 %
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