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Logan Stankoven: 2021 NHL Draft Prospect Profile; A Small Forward with Scoring Punch and a Relentless Motor

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Logan Stankoven is just 5’-8” but he packs a lot of effort and a high-end shot into that small frame. With style comparisons to players like Marchand and Marchessault, could Stankoven be a fit for the Devils as a goal-scorer and disruptor?

Kamloops Blazers at Kelowna Rockets Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

Who is Logan Stankoven?

Logan Stankoven is a high-scoring, high-effort forward prospect who has played his last two seasons with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL. Stankoven hasn’t played a ton of games this season with a highly abridged WHL season cut further short by his participation in the U18 Worlds for Canada, but he put up 11 goals (plus 7 assists) in just 13 games between those two competitions. Stankoven checks in at a relatively diminutive 5’-8” for a player with NHL aspirations and at a modest 170 pounds, size inevitably becomes a consideration in any evaluation of his game. That size hasn’t kept him from finding his way up people’s draft boards, though, and a look at his scoring ability and reputation for high-effort two-way play give you an idea why.

Logan Stankoven career stats
from EliteProspects.com

Stankoven is a shoot-first type of player with the puck and also a highly capable player without it. Profiles on Stankoven praise his shooting ability pretty much universally, and the results largely speak for themselves when you look at his goal totals. As a skater, the praise is less universal, but most acknowledge that he has plenty of speed with some indicating that he could work on developing a currently somewhat choppy stride. Beyond the scoring ability, his effort off the puck is also widely praised, with him putting in the effort to win pucks at both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice. The criticisms of his game are mostly tied to some tunnel-vision as a puck carrier and, of course, questions about his size, but Stankoven looks like a strong prospect based on his numbers alone and the descriptions of his game generally only add to that.

Where is Logan Stankoven Ranked?

Logan Stankoven has a pretty wide range of rankings, going from the high teens all the way down to the 40s, depending on the list you are looking at. Given that he only had 13 total games between the WHL and U18 WJC to evaluate this season, it’s understandable that opinions will vary. Smaller players can also be a bit polarizing at times, but the general consensus seems to have Stankoven as a first-round caliber guy.

What Others Say About Logan Stankoven

Logan Stankoven has plenty of scoring ability, but he gets a lot of praise for just how multi-faceted his game is. We’ll start with what Steve Kournianos had to say about him in his rankings at the Draft Analyst:

Think Brad Marchand styllistically except Stankoven lets his game do all the talking while staying within the letter of the rule book. He’s an incredibly deceptive skater whose hunched style makes you think he’s incapable of quick acceleration into any area of open ice, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Stankoven boasts a quick release and bullet for a shot, plus soft hands to quickly settle the puck onto his blade.

Stankoven may lack size but nobody seems to doubt his competitiveness and a comparison to Marchand gives you a quick idea of the type of motor you are dealing with from the Kamloops prospect. You always have to be very cautious reading too much into stylistic comparisons but “Brad Marchand but maybe he doesn’t lick people” is a prospect that I can definitely get on board with.

Next, we head over to Last Word on Sports where Ben Kerr put together this thorough profile of Stankoven’s game. I’ll grab a few snippets here, but the whole profile is worth a read. First on his skating, which based on the general consensus, seems to be best described as “a bit ugly but gets the job done”:

Stankoven makes up for his lack of size by being a very good skater. He is very quick and his top-end speed is very good. He can beat defenders wide and go to the net. Stankoven also gets in quickly on the forecheck. However, his stride can sometimes be a little short and choppy. This suggests that there is even more room to improve if he can improve his technique and stride length.

Stankoven’s bread and butter is his shot, which you really only need to take a look at his stats over the past couple years to glean. The guy can rip it and is constantly finding the back of the net as a result.

Stankoven has an outstanding wrist shot and a very quick release. He is amongst the best shooters in this draft class. His shot is powerful and accurate. He also has excellent hands. Stankoven can do a quick toe drag before shooting, leading to a change in release point that really drives goalies nuts. A pure goal scorer, he has a real knack for finding open space without the puck.

Finally, a couple bits on his game at both ends without the puck, which really drive home the type of annoyance for opponents that Stankoven seems to be:

He is a hard worker, relentlessly chasing down loose pucks. Stankoven is an effective forechecker. While not the most physical player, he gets in quickly on the defence and forces them to move the puck quickly, often leading to mistakes.

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Stankoven is a very good defensive player. He works hard down low, supporting the defence against the cycle game. He does a good job of using his skating ability to keep himself between his opponent and the net.

Lots to like in that Kerr profile, which does note that Stankoven is going to have to put on some mass to make it in the NHL, but he fits a definite profile of a guy who could be a general nuisance for opposing teams in the league as a scorer and puck hound.

To build on that assessment, we can head over to our friends at Stanley Cup of Hockey, where SkyonAir offers this summary of Stankoven’s game:

Stankoven’s first impression is that of a massive pain in the rear for any team to try and contain. He’s a high-speed, high-acceleration skater whose hands and offensive instincts are especially well-honed, willing and able to put a powerful wrist shot on-net from anywhere, even if it means he has to go in tight to the goaltender do it. He even likes to be a little demon on the forecheck, where his low center of gravity and high-speed forces the opposing defense to make mistakes.

And while the profile is generally very positive, it does offer these caveats:

Where Stankoven has work however is in his skate stride, which is a bit shorter than usual and robs him of truly game changing speed, and it can be a little rough as a result. And while I made an impassioned reminder that size matters not, he is pretty skinny for 5’8, and that could really get in his way at the pro level.

The skating form and the size are the two areas that are most vulnerable for Stankoven as a prospect and his small sample size from this year is enough to give a bit of pause as well. For the most part, the sample size just comes with the territory for any prospect from the WHL this year, which had a highly truncated season (though not quite the full cancellation that the OHLers dealt with). My impression is that Stankoven had enough of a sample from 2019-20 that you can still trace his progress, even in a limited season.

Lastly, we go to this profile from Victor Nuño at The Hockey Writers. He offers a lot of the same praise as elsewhere and seems even higher on Stankoven’s skating than some others, but offers this bit of critique of his game:

The main areas he needs to improve upon are his playmaking and problem-solving. He favors his shot, which makes sense, but he sometimes misses open teammates. He also, at times, can skate himself into trouble in the offensive zone, and as the pace of the game gets faster, he might have some trouble adjusting.

The limited playmaking ability tracks with his numbers, which shake out much more like a pure goal-scorer. A little bit of tunnel vision is not necessarily a bad think for a guy with a plus-shot but it’ll be important for him at the next level to at least make teams consider that he could pass the puck. There is a bit of praise for his passing ability in some other profiles out there, but it’s clear that he’s a shoot-first guy.

Overall, there are enough question marks to justify Stankoven’s consensus position in the back half of the first round, but he clearly has some potential as a game-breaker and major headache for teams at the next level.

A Little Video

An Opinion of Sorts

For a team looking to find a difference-maker beyond the first 15-20 picks of the draft, Logan Stankoven has a lot of the qualities that almost any team in the NHL would be looking for. Goal-scoring is always a need, especially for a team like the Devils, and the all-around peskiness of his game point to a player that aims to surprise at the next level. The biggest knock on Stankoven’s game comes down to that size factor, which is understandable on one hand at 5’-8”, but the NHL has seen plenty of recent examples of similar players passed over for size concerns who leave a trail of regret in their wake.

This isn’t to say that Stankoven is the next Brad Marchand, Brayden Point, or even Jonathan Marchessault, but I like his game a lot and as long as he can build enough mass to be able to win and keep pucks at the next level, he seems like he would definitely be a worthwhile selection if he is available when the Devils pick at 29th overall. The Devils have some really strong playmakers in their young core and prospect pool, but always seem to be in need of a guy who can fill the net. That’s not to say the Devils don’t have some options on that front too (i.e. Alexander Holtz and Nolan Foote) but Stankoven occupies a slightly different lane more in the mold of Blake Coleman (though ideally with a breakout season a little sooner than his draft-plus-seven year). Whether Stankoven ends up being the best selection in that spot comes down to who is available, but I’d definitely include him in the pool of guys I’d be happy to see selected in the back half of the first round.

Your Take

What are your thoughts on Logan Stankoven? What do you think of his game and do you think he is a player the Devils should be looking at in the late first? What are your thoughts on his size and how it impacts his NHL projection? Are you concerned with the relatively few games he played this season? Comment your thoughts below and thanks for reading.