Logan Stankoven does not need extra motivation.
The 17-year-old forward’s draft year has been partially ransacked and he wants nothing more than to return to the ice with his Kamloops Blazers on Jan. 8, when the WHL is aiming to begin its delayed season amid the pandemic.
NHL Central Scouting stoked an already burning fire on Tuesday (Oct. 27) by giving Stankoven a “B” rating on its players to watch list, projecting he will be selected in either Round 2 or Round 3 of the 2021 NHL Draft.
“I don’t like to be a cocky human being, but having that confidence and swagger that I am good enough to potentially be a first-rounder or an A-rated prospect is something I really strive toward,” said Stankoven, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound Kamloops product who attends Valleyview secondary.
“That just brings out the hunger in me and makes me want to prove myself to, hopefully, move up in those rankings and just skyrocket.”
Stankoven blasted off in the second half of the 2019-2020 season, tallying 18 goals in 30 games after the Christmas break. The diminutive right-shot centre finished the campaign with 48 points in 59 games and was named Western Conference rookie of the year.
“Obviously, it’s a big honour to be on the Central Scouting list, but I think I have confidence in myself that I’m able to be with some of those top prospects,” Stankoven said, noting he is pleased to see league play taking place in Europe, the U.S. and Quebec.
“It’s too bad we won’t be able to have a full season, but it’s out of our control,” he said. “The main thing is to stay positive and, hopefully, we’ll have enough games to prove ourselves as a team and, for myself, individually.”
Blazers’ star forward Connor Zary was pegged with a “B” rating in October 2019. He finished that month with a league-leading 21 points, good enough for WHL player of the month status, and was upgraded to an “A” prospect. The Calgary Flames picked Zary 24th overall in
Round 1 of this year’s NHL Draft.
“Zary was in the exact same spot last year,” said Stankoven, who the Blazers nabbed fifth overall in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft. “He really used that as motivation and that’s something I want to do, as well, to prove myself and show them who I am as a player and person.”
Caedan Bankier is the only other Blazer who cracked the list. NHL Central Scouting gave the 17-year-old forward a “C” rating, projecting he will be picked in either Round 4, Round 5 or Round 6 of the 2021 NHL Draft.
“It’s a huge honour and it’s super exciting,” said Bankier, who the Blazers picked in Round 3 of the 2018 bantam draft. “It’s good to see Stanks on it, as well.”
Bankier, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound left shot from Surrey, racked up seven goals and 20 points in 55 games last season.