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The Oshawa Generals are going to be looking worriedly under their bed for years after what Easton Cowan did to them in the OHL finals.

London did have a bit of luck. Oshawa were missing a couple of key players, though not their very best. But Oshawa, as the best team in the other conference by regular season record and playoffs outcome, were just outgunned and outclassed.

And then there was Cowan.

Cowan had a strong series against Saginaw – who had the second best record in the OHL – in the previous round, with 11 points in 6 games. In fact, he ended the series with three straight multi point games. It would have been hard to predict that he would take his game to yet another level of dominance for the finals.

Cowan started it off with a nuclear explosion in game one, where he had five points on five straight goals for London as they build a massive lead. Only one of those five points were secondary assists, the rest were all primary points. London cruised to an 8-1 win in the opener. He was a dominant factor at even strength, on the power play, and on the penalty kill.

Game two was another dominant win, with the final score being 9-1 and the shot share tilted heavily in London's favour as well. Cowan "only" had three points, a goal and another two primary assists. He had a ton of other chances, however, and set up his teammates with other dangerous chances that they didn't score on either.

Game three, on the road in Oshawa where they would be desperate to keep the series in reach after getting pummeled in the first two games, Oshawa built a 4-1 and then a 6-2 lead after the first two periods. And then London went to work. Cowan had three primary assists, and originally had a secondary assist that got taken away after, on London's second, fourth and fifth goals to help drive them to a 7-6 overtime win in a dramatic comeback. Cowan was a maniac in this game, adding nine shots on net and winding up taking over as their 1C – I think their main guy, Jacob Julien, got hurt through the series even if he stayed in the lineup, as Cowan played game four as their 1C as well.

Game four was another cake walk. London already took Oshawa's best push in game three and still overwhelmed them in the end. Cowan had another four points, two of them primary, and won 13 of 24 faceoffs as their top center.

In just the the four games of the OHL finals, Cowan had 3 goals and 15 points and averaged 5 shots on goal. Hell, he had 12 primary points alone! He had a point on 48% of all of London's goals in the finals, which is hilarious considering that London had no fewer than 7 goals in every game. They were simply overwhelming for Oshawa to handle. They had tons of very good players, on forward and defense, to drive offense and defense, and on all special teams.

Despite how deep London was, Cowan was unsurprisingly named the OHL playoffs MVP. He became the first player to receive the MVP for both the regular season and playoffs since... Mitch Marner with London in 2016.

Cowan finished with the OHL lead in playoff points with 34 (10 goals, 24 assists) in 18 games. He actually improved his point production rate in the playoffs compared to the regular season. And what is most impressive to me about Cowan's playoff run is how strong he finished it. I mentioned in my prospect report following the second round that I had been a bit disappointed in him. He only had three points, all secondary assists on the power play, in that series.

But in the conference finals against the OHL's second best team, and then the OHL finals after that, Cowan had 26 points in 10 games. He had only one game in those 10 where he did not have at least 2 points, including multi-point games in seven straight games to end the playoff run. If you just take those final 10 games, Cowan would still have finished tied for 5th in playoff scoring in the OHL.

I could keep going on, finding new stats to showcase how absurd Cowan's playoff run was. But those are my favourite and I think drive the point home. I've seen plenty of Leafs fans already wondering or just outright claiming that Cowan is clearly NHL ready for next season. Originally I would have been more cautious in proclaiming that, but man... he's making it really hard to stay cautious in his projections.

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. There's still the Memorial Cup, in which London will now be playing against three of the other best teams in the CHL. All three CHL champions for the OHL, WHL and QMJHL swept their Finals series. And then there's Saginaw, who were the only team in the OHL to be competitive win London, while missing some of their best players to injury at the time.

It was a pretty uncompetitive playoffs, honestly. London, Moose Jaw and Drummondville had a combined 48-9 record in their championship runs. London only lost two games, Drummondville lost three and Moose Jaw lost four – three of them to Minten and Lisowsky on Saskatoon who came within one overtime goal in game seven from likely being the WHL champions instead.

The Memorial Cup is often pretty silly, since it's only one game per matchup in the round robin and then two single game elimination "playoffs". But I have to think that London will be the favourites to win it all, even if the other teams playing are great in their own right.

It will be one last chance for Cowan show how great he can be on the biggest stage of his career. We'll see if he can again follow in Mitch Marner's footsteps – he had 14 points in 4 games and was named the MVP as London won the 2016 Memorial Cup.

Anyone else unsure if Cowan has it in him at this point?

Memorial Cup Schedule:

  • May 24 - Moose Jaw vs Saginaw
  • May 25 - London vs Drummondville
  • May 26 - Drummondville vs Saginaw
  • May 27 - London vs Moose Jaw
  • May 28 - Moose Jaw vs Drummondville
  • May 29 - London vs Saginaw
  • May 30 - Tie breaker if needed
  • May 31 - Semi Final
  • June 2 - Final

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