Logan Stankoven, the current captain of the Kamloops Blazers, and a Dallas Stars second-round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft, has been on fire this season with the Blazers so far. Prior to leaving for Canada’s selection camp in December, he had registered 32 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in 22 games and was among the top point producers in the Western Hockey League (WHL).
On Dec. 1, he was one of 15 WHL players invited to the selection camp in Calgary, Alberta. After a few intrasquad games throughout the week, decision time came. While Stankoven shared he had doubts about making the team, he was ultimately one of 12 WHL players selected to represent Canada at the World Juniors. He joined fellow Blazers goaltender and New York Rangers prospect, Dylan Garand, on the roster, and for the second consecutive year, the Blazers had two players representing them. Last year, Garand and Calgary Flames prospect Connor Zary captured a silver medal.
This was not his first taste of international experience either. In 2019-20, he played for the Team Canada Red under-17 squad and had four goals in five games. Last April, he represented Canada at the under-18 World Junior Championships that were held in Texas. He registered eight points (four goals, four assists) in seven games and helped capture a gold medal. Stankoven becomes just the third Kamloops native to dawn the Canadian jersey at the World Juniors. He joins current Minnesota Wild prospect Joe Hicketts, as well as former NHLer and Hall of Famer Mark Recchi.
He brings a strong offensive game and possesses a toolkit that gives him an edge. He’s viewed as a pest on the forecheck and will hunt you down to strip the puck away and create a play. While he stands 5-foot-8, don’t let his size fool you. He has no problem getting involved in any type of physical play or getting down in the trenches. With a game that is ever-changing, we have seen smaller players such as Johnny Gaudreau, Brad Marchand and Alex DeBrincat thrive in the league and put up exceptional numbers. Stankoven has all the traits to follow the same path and Stars fans should be very excited to have him in their pipeline.
The Moment You Dream About
After being scratched for the opening game against Czechia, Stankoven was put into the lineup against Austria and was ready to strike. In the first period, during his first shift, he scored Canada’s third goal and accomplished what every hockey kid dreams of, scoring a goal at the World Juniors.
Stankoven went on to praise his linemates for helping him score the goal. “Mac (Mason McTavish) made a great play through the neutral zone there and I was coming with lots of speed and I made one move. I thought I should put the puck on the net and, next thing you know, I kind of blinked and it was in the back of the net. It’s a pretty cool feeling. You know, I watched the World Juniors as a kid growing up and it felt pretty nice to get that first goal.”
Canada went on to dominate and won the game 11-2. Regina Pats superstar Connor Bedard (Diest, Derek van. “B.C.’s Connor Bedard Scores Four Goals at World Juniors.” Vancouver Sun, 29 Dec. 2021,) etched his name in hockey history by being the youngest player ever to record four goals at the World Juniors.
Dissapointing End to World Juniors
As many are aware, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) ultimately cancelled the remainder of the World Juniors tournament after four players tested positive for COVID-19 causing multiple teams to forfeit games. With statements being made of a possible return to play come during the summer break, that would give Stankoven another crack at finishing the tournament. He will also be eligible to return to next year’s squad.
Born and raised in Kamloops B.C. and a die-hard fan of the Kamloops Blazers, hockey has always been a part of his life. Now, Colton is exploring the sports media world and looking to make it a career. He currently covers the Winnipeg Jets, as well as contributes to World Juniors, and draft-related content. He is co-host of the WesternCentric Podcast, which revolves around the WHL.