BREAKING: Two Maple Leafs prospects have been named to Hockey Canada World Juniors team

Published December 5, 2023 at 2:39 PM
BY AUSTIN KELLY
     
The Toronto Maple Leafs have the potential to see multiple prospects wear the red and white maple leaf at the World Juniors.

Two Leafs Added To WJC Squad



Team Canada has announced it's 30 man shortlist to the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, including two Leafs Prospects, Easton Cowan and Fraser Minten.




Cowan, drafted 28th Overall by Toronto in 2023, continued his meteoric rise from the end of last OHL season for the London Knights, going from a surprise 1st Rounder to nearly making the Leafs as an 18-year-old. Returning to London, Cowan has continued to dominate, with 10 Goals and 34 Points in 21 Games for the Knights, 2nd in PTS behind fellow 2023 pick Denver Barkey, taken in the 3rd round by the Flyers, who also made the preliminary squad.

Minten, 19, made the Leafs opening night roster, appearing in 4 games before being sent back to the WHL to the Kamloops Blazers. Kamloops recently traded Minten to the Saskatoon Blades. In 11 Games, Minten has 4 Goals and 13 Points. Minten was a 2nd Round Pick of Toronto, 38th Overall, in 2022.

The Leafs did not have any prospects at the World Juniors last season. The last Leafs to play at the tournament were Topi Niemela and Roni Hirvonen for silver medal winning Finland, and Matthew Knies for Team USA.

The lack of top end talent means there will be a much bigger fight for spots. 2023 Canada stars Connor Bedard & Adam Fantilli are almost surely not being loaned from the NHL, and Zach Benson may stay up as well. Projected 2024 Top Prospect Macklin Celebrini is on the 30-man squad, and will likely win a spot easily. Minten, who can play a defensive game, may have an advantage in earning a bottom-six spot vs many of his teammates. Cowan's ability to play on the PP and PK may be a valuable asset for the Canadians.

Some surprises for Canada exist in their exclusions, including WHL leading scorer, a 2023 2nd Round Pick of Minnesota, as well as Penguins 22 1st Rounder Owen Pickering, who's cousin Denton Mateychuk made the roster. Besides Celebrini, many of Canada's top prospects, Sam Dickinson, Zayne Parekh, Berkly Catton & Cayden Lindstrom were not added, as well as 2025 Top Prospect Michael Misa, or his older brother Luke, who is dominating the OHL for Mississauga.

The full Team Canada Preliminary Roster can be viewed here
POLL
December 5   |   472 answers
BREAKING: Two Maple Leafs prospects have been named to Hockey Canada World Juniors team

Should Easton Cowan and Fraser Minten make Team Canada?

Yes39483.5 %
No337 %
Just Cowan265.5 %
Just Minten183.8 %
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