Do the stanky leg. Another draft-eligible prospect that the Calgary Flames could select with their 12th overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft is Logan Stankoven of the Kamloops Blazers.
Stankoven is teammates and plays on the same line with current Flames prospect Connor Zary, which makes him an intriguing option for the Flames brass due to their chemistry and productiveness. While only playing together in limited games this past season, the duo combined for 134 points the season before. Stankoven himself had 29 goals and 48 points in 59 games in the 2019-20 season, while adding seven goals and 10 points in six games for the Blazers in their COVID-19 shortened season. The 5’8 forward also potted four goals and four assists with Team Canada at the World Under-18 Hockey Championships, helping the Canadians win their first gold at the event since 2013. Stankoven was an assistant captain for the club at the event, while also being an assistant for the Blazers, showing his leadership skills.
While Zary is more of a ‘flash n dash’ type of player with a ton of skill and playmaking ability, Stankoven is more of a two-way forward who can play tough minutes in his own zone, while also chipping in offensively. According to EliteProspects 2021 NHL Draft Guide Stankoven is a “fearless puck-carrier, always driving the inside, and never shy about setting up shop near the net-front off of the puck. He plays a north-south game and always attacks at an unrelentingly high pace. The mechanics behind his shot are so clean, exerting downward force while pushing his top hand off his body”. It also states “his always-in-motion feet and defensive motor round out an exciting tool kit”.
One of Stankoven’s biggest assets is his skating. He may lack size, but he is an outstanding skater. He is very quick and he has top-end speed, which allows him to beat defenders wide on the rush and drive the net or squeeze between the defencemen if they’re slow to close the gap on him. It also allows him to be very effective on the transition game and thinks at a high enough level to quickly turn defence into an offensive chance off the rush. Another quality asset he posses is a lethal shot. He has the ability to become a bit more of a playmaker, but he definitely likes to have the shoot-first mentality, which works well with his quick hands, especially in tight spaces around the net. As per 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.”
He is also very solid defender both at center and on the wing. He has a lot of versatility, something teams look for in draft picks. He can play in your top or bottom six, at both center and right wing while also having the ability to play on both special teams units. He has a very good stick in the defensive zone and rarely gets caught out of position when other teams have the puck for long stretches while Stankoven and his teammates are defending.
At the very least I think Stankoven should become a top nine NHLer, just due to how far advanced he is defensively. He has a high offensive ceiling, that could allow for him to become a 20-goal scorer at the next level. Stankoven reminds me a lot of two-time Stanley Cup champion Blake Coleman as they are both very hard to play against but can also be a very solid offensive contributor.