He then played in the provincial Big League baseball championships
in Thunder Bay where his team came within a hair of winning it all.
But it was while he was in Thunder Bay that he got a phone call
that could change his life for ever. During the competition his
mother left him a message to call home.
"She said it was urgent, so I called her from the car and
that's when she told me that Pittsburgh had called a bunch of times
so I called my agent and he said that the Penguins wanted to offer
me an amateur contract," says Cowick, who was passed over by
the NHL during the 2006 Entry Draft.
Now 6-foot-2 and 205 lbs., Cowick has started to draw a lot of
attention. Besides the Penguins, the Ottawa Senators and Toronto
Maple Leafs have also shown an interest in his abilities. But it
was the Penguins who called him first.
"I was shocked, then I felt proud and now I just feel a little
anxious. I went from playing in a provincial basball tournament
to a potentially life-changing opportunity," says Cowick.
An amateur contract simply means that Pittsburgh now has first
dibs on his future services should they choose to offer him a professional
Cowick will leave for Pittsburgh on Sept. 9, where he will get
tested and go through a battery of drills. He'll then leave for
Kitchener with the rest of the Penguins prospects to attend training
camp and participate in a tournament with prospects from the Senators,
Leafs and Florida Panthers.
Cowick says he's ready, having worked out all summer in preparation
for the 67s training camp which starts at the end of the month.
"I've been working with Peter Twist at the Twist Conditioning
Cente. It's been pretty intense. I'm in better shape now than I
was all season," says Cowick.
Besides working out, Cowick has been playing pick-up hockey every
Sunday at the Ray Friel Complex along with several other local NHL
prospects including Claude Giroux who's expected to crack the Philadelphia
Flyers line-up this year; Tim Billingsley, who was drafted by the
Phoenix Coyotes and Shawn Lalonde, who was drafted by the Chicago
"It's funny. Before the draft everyone was wearing their
OHL gear and then about two weeks after the draft they all started
wearing their NHL gear," says Cowick, who has yet to get any
Penguins gear. "Why buy it when I can get it for free? Hopefully,
I'll still be wearing it next summer."