The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Easton Cowan with the No. 28 pick in the 2023 NHL draft Wednesday.
Cowan, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound winger from Mount Brydges, Ont., had 53 points (20 goals, 33 assists) in 68 games with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights last season.
Toronto acquired the pick, which belonged to the Boston Bruins, from the Washington Capitals at the trade deadline after trading its own first-round pick to St. Louis.
Leafs winger Mitch Marner, who also played junior for the Knights, reached out to Cowan right after he was picked.
“He actually FaceTimed me,” said Cowan, who was NHL Central Scouting’s 51st-ranked North American skater.
“That was awesome. I was kind of in shock.”
The Maple Leafs advanced to the second round for the first time in 19 years these past playoffs, but lost to the Florida Panthers in five games.
They’ve since undergone significant front-office changes, with general manager Brad Treliving coming in to replace Kyle Dubas, who’s now the president of hockey operations in Pittsburgh.
The Cowan pick marked Treliving’s first selection as Maple Leafs GM. Treliving didn’t join Toronto’s draft table until his former team, Calgary, had made its first-round pick due to restrictions imposed by the Flames.
Toronto is set to make two more selections, starting with No. 153, when the draft continues with Rounds 2-7 on Thursday.