2006-07: This was Jared Cowen’s final season with the Saskatoon AAA Contacs (SMAAAHL). In 41 games, he netted six goals and 28 points, all while accumulating 103 penalty minutes. This also marked the defenseman’s first season with the Spokane Chiefs (WHL). In six games, he registered two assists and two penalty minutes.
2007-08: In his first full season with the Spokane Chiefs (WHL), Cowen recorded 18 points (4+14). He recorded his first career goal on Oct. 5 at Tri-City. His empty net goal vs. Kitchener clinched the Cheifs Memorial Cup Championship. He served as an Alternate Captain for Canada’s gold medal winning Under-18 team at the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament. He helped Team West win the bronze medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He finished the tournament with seven helpers in six games and was named the Player of the Game for Team West three times. He was named the Chiefs Rookie of the Year and Western Conference Scholastic Player of the Year in 2007-08. His +28 led all rookie defensemen this season. Added a goal and three assists in 21 playoff games.
2008-09: The towering defenseman spent another season with the Spokane Chiefs (WHL). In 48 games, he tallied a career-high seven goals and 21 points. Cowen suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for much of the season. He played in the 2009 CHL Top Prospects Game.
2009-10: Following his knee injury, Senators management hoped to see Cowen rebound. While it took some adjustments, Cowen eventually was able to pull his game around and tally 30 points in 59 games, to go with 74 penalty minutes on the year with Spokane. He was awarded one game with Ottawa, but was unable to get on the score sheet. In January, Cowen played a role on Canada’s Silver Medal Team at the World Juniors, but was relegated to 7th on the defensive Depth Chart.
2010-11: Cowen captained his Spokane squad and was named to the WHL Western Conference First All-Star Team. He appears completely recovered from his major knee injury and continues to display excellent mobility for a player his size. In addition to scoring 18 goals and recording 48 points in just 58 regular season WHL games, he managed another 14 points in the Chiefs’ playoff run and then suited up for 14 playoff games with Binghamton’s Calder Cup winning team chipping in four assists. An alternate captain for the Canadian Team at the WJHC, he was part of their shut-down pairing and contributed one assist.
Cowen is a force to be reckoned with based on his size, strength and skill package. In the defensive zone he simply dominated junior-aged players with his physical attributes and excellent positioning. The mobility has returned and he makes good decisions with the puck in his own end. On the offensive end he has good instincts and will rush the puck when the opportunity presents itself. He will need to continue working on his puck-handling at the point to be a complete two-way defenseman. The Senators management is impressed with his maturity, commitment and work ethic.
The only question asked about Cowen now is whether he will be a key defensive shut-down defenseman or morph into a complete two-way force from the blue line. The concerns about his knee have been put to rest and the offensive improvement he’s demonstrated provides optimism he’ll potentially be a top-two defenseman in time. At this point he simply needs time to adjust to the speed of the NHL and he should be a regular on the Ottawa defensive corps for years to come.