The argument for the prospect with the best pure shooting ability is tight, but Logan Stankoven should be in the mix. The Canadian sharp-shooter is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2021 NHL draft class, being ranked as early as 12th, and as late as 44th. The one constant in every scouting report, however, is the excellent shot that he possesses. What else does he bring to the table?
Logan Stankoven Prospect Deep Dive
What The Experts Are Saying
Josh Tessler of Smaht Scouting: “Similar to Frölunda’s Lucas Raymond, Stankoven plays a high-tempo game and is a menace in the offensive zone. He rushes towards the puck and plays the puck hard. Stankoven has elite forechecking ability and if his opponent has the puck along the boards in their own zone, he applies pressure to limit open lanes and capture possession of the puck. While some prospects are much stronger as a forechecker and are not as strong in the neutral and defensive zones, Stankoven is the opposite. When he is in his own zone and the neutral zone, he does not leave many gaps for his opponents.”
Victor Nuño of The Hockey Writers: “Stankoven has the potential to evolve into a top-line scoring winger but would need a fair amount of development and improvement in certain areas of his game to get there. The more likely outcome is a middle-six winger with fair to good offensive upside.”
Ashley Glover of Recruit Scouting: “He’s a natural-born sniper who is constantly stuck in hyperdrive gearing, creating havoc for defenders across the Western Hockey League. He’s just five-foot-eight but don’t let that fool you, Stankoven is built like a freight train and just happens to be wired like one.”
Logan Stankoven Profile
Standing at 5’8” and 170 pounds, the Kamloops, B.C. native has been knocked down draft boards for his size. However, he provides versatility by playing both winger positions and down the middle. With that versatility and despite his size limitations, he found a lot of success. Last season, Stankoven recorded 29 goals and 19 assists for 48 points in 59 games played. This season, in just six games in the WHL, he scored seven goals and three assists for 10 points. As mentioned earlier, the range given to Stankoven in this class is wide with Bob McKenzie notably placing him 44th. For me, he ranks 18th, firmly.
Logan Stankoven is an interesting skater for a variety of reasons. For reference, I had my dad watch a clip of Stankoven skating full speed and asked him about what he saw, as he doesn’t watch a ton of hockey. He said, “ He’s fast, but it looks like he’s running instead of skating.” Stankoven’s stride is awkward, on occasion. The problem lies in two technical areas. His knee and ankle flexion are inconsistent. There are times where he bends his knees and gets low, showing good power in his strides.
Other times, he doesn’t bend his knees enough and his strides become choppy, which is where the “running instead of skating” idea comes into play. Meanwhile, his ankle flexion is also inconsistent, as he doesn’t always have his knees parallel to his toes. If he works on those two areas, while also improving his stride length, Stankoven could wind up as a very good skater in the future.
Another issue lies in his size. He does not play necessarily small, which will be talked about later. However, there are times he struggles with battling for net-front positioning against players in his own age group. At the NHL level, he will see even more difficulty, obviously, and thus he needs to continue to work on his lower body and core strength. That comes in time. Overall, however, Logan Stankoven is a speedy skater, with strong edges. He can stop on the puck and complete tight turns when needed.
When it comes to the transitional game, Logan Stankoven does not particularly stand out. Tracking three of his games with Team Canada at the U18 World Championships, there were many scenarios where Connor Bedard or Mason McTavish led the way. Stankoven was, more or less, a bystander to their puck-moving talents. That is not to say he is not effective, however. Stankoven completed 50% of his total zone exit attempts with possession and 40% of his total zone entry attempts. Those numbers would not necessarily be bad stacked up to the rest of his peers, but it’s his involvement that brings him down. He was involved in an average of 2.67 possession exits per game and 3.33 possession entries per game. Simon Robertsson of Team Sweden, for comparison, was involved in 4 and 6.67 per game, respectively.
Stankoven has the skill-set to be a good transitional player, however. He’s fast, possesses good edges, and has the creativity and confidence to stickhandle when needed. It’s just a matter of putting himself into better positions in the neutral zone while moving up the ice, and getting a bit more involved. As he matures and gains more knowledge, he should take better advantage of his skill-set in the neutral zone.
Logan Stankoven and his nasty shot. Let’s start there, shall we? His release is lethal. He can be in tight coverage, in the middle of a deke, or corralling a pass, and he can quickly release a heavy shot towards the net. Stankoven’s release is deceptive and arguably NHL-ready. On top of a dangerously quick release, he can generate a ton of power through just his arms. He does not need to be technically sound in his shooting form to get power off, which allows him to shoot from just about any stance, from anywhere on the ice.
His accuracy is strong as well, and with all that combined, he is a lethal goal-scorer. In the three games I tracked, Stankoven fired 13 total shots, with 10 hitting the net (76.92% shot accuracy) and two goals. Of the 13 shots, eight of them were fired from the slot area, with six hitting the net (75%) and both of his goals.
As for his passing, Stankoven is solid. He is not one to wow people with his passing, but he does anticipate the play well and displays strong vision. For example, early in the Gold medal game against Russia, Bedard sent a pass to the side of the net to Stankoven, who one-touched a pass through the crease towards McTavish. While it did not end up being a goal, he displayed that strong anticipation and vision by finding McTavish through traffic. However, his passing is inconsistent, and he won’t make a very flashy play too often. Overall, he attempted 24 total passes and completed 20 in the offensive zone (83.33% passing accuracy), with 15 of them being deemed “simple” passes. Among the other nine pass attempts, five were directed towards high-danger.
Logan Stankoven’s Offensive Style
Stankoven is an interesting player. He attacks the slot and loves parking himself in the mid-slot, right between the hash marks. If there’s a battle along the boards, he comes across in support, but generally stays in the slot area. Despite his size, he finds general success playing this way, but for his style to work at the NHL level, he must get stronger.
One of the traits that really sticks out for Stankoven in the offensive zone, however, is his relentless engine. When the opposing team has possession and are looking to clear, he attacks. Logan Stankoven is an excellent forechecker and can wreak havoc when getting involved. His dogged effort on the forecheck would make any coach salivate for his name to be called by their bosses.
Defensive Zone Ability
Logan Stankoven is exceptional in the defensive zone. His aggressiveness on the forecheck translates into how he attacks puck-carriers in the defensive zone. He hounds after the puck, attacks the point, and overall, does not give his opponents breathing room. The one concern about this style is he lets it get a bit out of hand. In the Gold medal game, Stankoven would often find himself going boards to boards, chasing the puck, and being undisciplined in his positioning.
Other than being a bit over-aggressive when attacking his opponents, Stankoven shows an overall strong awareness in his own end. He knows how to use an active stick effectively, and he pairs that really well with his aggressiveness. When the puck gets low on the opposite side, he will help clear the net-front with a teammate and assist his defence down low. When the puck is on his side, he usually is right on top of the puck-carrier, playing his usual aggressive style. Overall, Stankoven possesses a strong defensive ability already. That gives him a slightly higher floor than some other prospects in this class.
Logan Stankoven’s NHL Comparison and Potential
Logan Stankoven has a fairly high ceiling due to his offensive prowess. While he may not have a clear path to being an elite NHLer, he does have a good shot of providing strong top-six value to whichever team drafts him. His shooting projects him as a potential 40-goal scorer. Though it’s safer to project that he’ll be a 30-goal scorer at the next level. If his size holds him back, and his offensive game does not translate cleanly, he still has the pure shooting ability to provide steady offence in a limited role. What should give him a really good shot of becoming an NHLer is his aggressiveness in the offensive and defensive zones. That, along with his decent defensive game.
As for an NHL comparison, based purely on style and not what he could wind up becoming, Stankoven reminds me of Blake Coleman. The Tampa Bay Lightning forward plays a tough game. He gets to the dirty areas and forechecking as his life depended on it. He brings a ton of energy to the ice. Coleman also possesses a strong offensive arsenal, being a threat with the puck on his stick. Meanwhile, he is a steady presence in the back-end for the defending Cup champions. Playing a key role in slowing down the opposing team’s top lines.