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After leading Edina in assists, Bobby Cowan picks St. Thomas for his college hockey future

With a father and an uncle who both played Division I hockey, Edina forward Bobby Cowan followed the family legacy and committed to St. Thomas a few weeks after the Hornets' state title game trip.

A hockey player skates behind the net during a game.
St. Thomas commit Bobby Cowan of Edina skates during a game at the Plymouth Ice Center on April 23, 2023 for the Boys HP 16/17's camp
Sydney Wolf / The Rink Live

EDINA, Minn. — Unlike many people his age, 16-year-old Bobby Cowan is not an everyday updater of his private Instagram page. In the past two months, his social media feed shows just two posts — one of them looking back, and the other looking forward.

The first picture shows Cowan and his Edina teammates looking dejected in the moments immediately following the final horn in the 2023 Minnesota State Class AA Hockey title game, as the Hornets watched neighborhood rival Minnetonka celebrate a 2-1 victory. “We’ll be back,” is the only words Cowan has written.

His next Instagram post came less than a month later. Cowan remains a laser-like focus on his senior season for the Hornets, and a chance to get back to St. Paul and win one more game. But his future beyond the high school and junior hockey rinks is a bright one as well. On April 3, Cowan posted a familiar purple and white logo, announcing his plans to play college hockey for St. Thomas in a few years.

“I like the stuff they’ve been doing in the past few years and I’ve seen some other great hockey players going there, so I’m excited,” Cowan told The Rink Live. He comes from a family where college hockey is the accepted next step after high school, with a father, Bob, who played for Providence and an uncle, David, who skated for Minnesota Duluth. Bobby said he hopes to study business with an emphasis in real estate in addition to playing for the Tommies.

Moorhead vs Edina_0342.jpg
Edina forward Bobby Cowan (21) and Moorhead defender Colby Krier (5) go into the boards after the puck in the first period Thursday, March 9, 2023, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

On the ice, Cowan’s game has been one of growth, and he has worked his way onto better teams and higher lines.
“I’ve never been the top player at Edina. In PeeWees I was B1, and then AA. In Bantams I was A and then AA,” he said. “I’ve been behind four or five forwards that I played with this year. It’s definitely a lot of pressure, but it’s fun because I’ve always been with a winning team.”


As a sophomore for the Hornets, he was primarily a JV player, seeing action in a dozen varsity games without recording a point. Then last season, with a regular varsity role, Cowan’s offensive game exploded, with 17 goals and 21 assists in 30 games. Moved to a line with Ryan Flaherty and Gophers commit Jackson Nevers for the playoffs, Cowan led the Hornets in assists for the season. He scored their lone goal in the state title game, and was named to the All-Tournament team.

Picked by the Omaha Lancers in the fourth round of the recent USHL Draft , Cowan said he is planning another season of training and would consider a “before and after” with Omaha, in addition to giving the state prep title one last run with the Hornets. Like most Edina kids, he has learned to embrace being the team that everyone loves to hate.

“Everyone’s hating on Edina, whether it’s against ‘Tonka in the state ‘ship, or just some random team,” Cowan said. “Nobody cheers for us, which is more fun because you grow up with it. I enjoy that.”

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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