Player Profile: Jared Cowen

Jared Cowen, D, Contract: 1.325/14 (RFA) 1-9 2009 (Murray)
6’5, Shoots L, YOB 1991, Allan, Sask
2008-09 WHL Spokane 48-7-14-21 (ppg 0.43) +15 45pim (3 fights)
2009-10 WHL Spokane 59-8-22-30 (ppg 0.51) +23 74pim (2 fights)
2010-11 WHL Spokane 58-18-30-48 (ppg 0.82) +44 91pim (5 fights)
2011-12 NHL Ottawa 82-5-12-17 (ppg 0.2) -4 56pim (2 fights) TOI 18:53

Heading into the 2009 draft, the Ottawa Senators had fired their coach mid-season (Craig Hartsburg) for the second straight year and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1995-96.  They had the 9th overall pick, their highest since selecting Brian Lee in 2005.  Going into the draft the team had 9 NHL blueliners (Chris Campoli, Filip Kuba, Brian Lee, Chris Phillips, Alexandre Picard, Luke Richardson, Christoph Schubert, Jason Smith, and Anton Volchenkov).  The system wasn’t very deep (Mattias Karlsson had already signed a deal to return to the SEL), but the previous draft had seen Erik Karlsson and Patrick Wiercioch selected, both high-end defensemen.  I make this long preamble to illustrate why it seems Bryan Murray attempted to make a trade with Toronto’s Brian Burke in order to land Nazem Kadri.  There are a lot of conspiracy theories that claim Murray Jedi-mind tricked Burke into taking Kadri, but I don’t think we can know that one way or another.  It’s reasonable enough to accept that the Sens preferred to draft a forward, although 6’5 blueliners don’t grow on trees and Murray does like size.  Going into the draft, Cowen was ranked #7 by Bob McKenzie, but his stock had dropped because of a serious knee injury.

There was no question that Cowen would be returned for at least one more year of junior given the depth in Ottawa.  He made Canada’s WJC roster, but did not play much in earning a silver medal in Buffalo.  The following season the blueline was still crowded with six one-way contracts plus Erik Karlsson, so Cowen was returned for his final year of junior.  He made the WJC roster again, this time enjoying a larger role (again winning a silver medal, this time in Saskatoon).  After Spokane was knocked out of the WHL playoffs, Cowen was sent to Binghamton where he became a key member of the blueline, logging big minutes alongside AHL veteran Andre Benoit on his way to winning a Calder Cup.

This past season Cowen played his first professional season, spending the entire year in the NHL and playing all 82-games.  He wasn’t expected to be a big point producer in the NHL, but acquitted himself well given limited powerplay opportunities (oddly, 9 of his 17 points came in December).  The season featured some aggressive rookie mistakes, but on the whole he delivered what was expected.  Entering the upcoming season more will be expected of Cowen as he gradually replaces Chris Phillips‘ ice time and the team will look for him to add some of the toughness that departed with Matt Carkner.  I think Cowen will see more second-unit powerplay minutes so his point totals should go up slightly (20-25).

Cowen‘s profile the year he was drafted
-An interview at last year’s development camp
-Cowen scoring a hat trick


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