The CHL just wrapped up their conference finals as of last night, in fact it wrapped up with game 7 between Saskatoon and Moose Jaw. The last time I checked in on the three Toronto prospects still chasing a spot at the Memorial Cup, Easton Cowan, Fraser Minten and Brandon Lisowsky had just punched their tickets to the third round of their leagues' playoffs.

Maple Leafs Prospect Report: The Finals Countdown
Another playoff round completed, let’s once again check in on Toronto’s various prospects who have been performing in their respective league’s playoffs. At this point, some of them are at the end game in the finals!

So let's see how they did, and who advanced.

Easton Cowan

London wrapped up their semi-final series vs Saginaw in six games. Saginaw had the second best record in the OHL, behind only London. They're the Memorial Cup hosts so they'll be part of that anyways, and they had loaded up their lineup with a lot of talent. But London entered this series having swept their first two opponents. They won the first two games against Saginaw as well, and though Saginaw was never really out of any of the games, London proved too much and too deep.

Unlike the last prospect update I wrote on Cowan, who didn't look like he was at his best in the previous series, he was an absolute monster for London against Saginaw. In five of the six games, he had a multi-point game. He finished with 5 goals and 11 points in the 6 games, averaging 4.6 shots per game, and was used at centre for most of the last three games. He was also named the OHL's Most Outstanding Player for this season in the middle of the series, which is a great honour for him and the impact he had this season for London.

The Knights will face Oshawa in the OHL finals, starting on s. In fact, here's the schedule:

Game 1 – Thursday, May 9th, in London @ 7 pm EST

Game 2 – Saturday, May 11th, in London @ 7 pm EST

Game 3 – Monday, May 13th, in Oshawa @ 7 pm EST

Game 4 – Wednesday, May 15th, in Oshawa @ 7 pm EST

Game 5 – Friday, May 17th, in London @ 7 pm EST

Game 6 – Sunday, May 19th, in Oshawa @ TBD

Game 7 – Monday, May 20th, in London @ TBD

You can purchase a series subscription to either (or both) of the OHL or WHL finals for $20 CAD each. There is an "All CHL playoffs" option, but it came to over $100 CAD after taxes for me and was really only meant if you got it at the start of the playoffs.

Fraser Minten & Brandon Lisowsky

I'll start by saying that the matchup between Saskatoon and Moose Jaw was OUTSTANDING – one of the most entertaining playoff series at any level of hockey I can remember watching. They were so closely matched, they were virtually tied in total goals and shots. There were top prospects on both sides. The goalies both made some incredible saves at times. It was high drama every game – six of the seven games went to overtime, including game 7. It was unfortunately a loss for Saskatoon, which ends a strong run by both of Toronto's prospects.

It was a very good series both for Minten and Lisowsky. Minten didn't have as many points, but played a huge role for the Blades. He had 3 goals and 1 assist, but two of those goals were overtime winners. He averaged four shots on goal per game, over 25 faceoffs per game and won 55% of them. He was their top guy to lock down the other team's big offensive weapons, he killed penalties, and was only on the ice for one even strength goal against all series.

Minten finished his playoff run with 8 goals and 14 points in 16 games. It isn't the end to his junior career that I'm sure he wanted, but he can hold his head high until he joins the Marlies or Leafs next season.

Lisowsky, on the other hand, had 6 points in the 7 game series. He was mixed between the "second" line with Minten and the top line with Wong and Sidorov (their top offensive player) whenever they needed the offense. He also averaged around four shots on net per game, but was on the ice for more goals against – usually when he was on the ice with their "top" line that tended to give up more back. Bit of a glass cannon line, really, which is why most of the time Saskatoon gave them a more defensive minded winger, and Lisowsky played with Minten.

Lisowsky finished his playoff run with 7 goals and 17 points in 16 games. Now we'll see if he did enough to earn a contract from Toronto. Drafted in the seventh round, 211th overall in 2022, Lisowsky's draft rights expire on June 1.

So now we have only one Toronto prospect remaining in the CHL playoffs, though they may just be the best team left between all three leagues.