Logan Stankoven is putting together another otherworldly season and boasts a Western Hockey League-leading active point streak that has reached 32 games.
“I don’t know how it’s come this far,” said 19-year-old Stankoven, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Dallas Stars’ prospect from Kamloops,
“I’m just taking it game by game. I’m really not too focused on the point streak. When the team is having success, it makes it a lot easier for players like myself and the rest of the team as individuals to have success, as well.”
Stankoven has 71 points, including 27 goals, in 32 games this season and is chasing 17-year-old Regina Pats’ phenom Connor Bedard, who pushed his point string to 35 games before a scoreless outing against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Feb. 3 ended the incredible run — and created a target for the Kamloops dynamo.
“It’s been brought up a few times just among people around me,” said Stankoven, whose Eastern Conference counterpart Bedard compiled 44 goals and 46 assists during his 35-game spree. “It would be nice to beat his point streak. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world.”
Stankoven’s tear was nearly shredded on Jan. 13 in Everett, where his empty-net goal at 18:39 of the third period marked his first point of the game and iced a 6-3 victory over the Silvertips.
“I had a couple of really Grade A scoring chances against Everett and the goalie just made some incredible saves on me, so it was definitely nice to get that empty-netter,” said Stankoven, the reigning Canadian Hockey League player of the year. “[Fraser] Minten could have just iced it into the net, but he gave it right back to me. Definitely unselfish. Otherwise, the streak would have been over.”
Stankoven’s linemates — Minnesota Wild prospect Caedan Bankier and Stars’ draft pick Matthew Seminoff — are also invested in the streak.
“The Prince Albert game, our line hadn’t gotten a goal yet,” Stankoven said, recalling a 6-4 triumph over the Raiders on Feb. 3 at Sandman Centre.
“The sixth goal that Banks scored [at 14:36 of the third period], I kind of just threw it off the pads and it went right to him and he scored. The first thing he said to me was, ‘We kept your point streak alive.‘”
Jeff Nelson of the Prince Albert Raiders holds the WHL record for longest point-scoring string in one season, with a 56-game stretch that saw him tally 108 points in the 1990-1991 campaign.
“That’s insane,” said Stankoven, who is averaging 2.22 points per game this season, second only to Bedard (2.39 points per game) in the category. “I don’t know how you can go that many games getting a point.”
Stankoven cannot catch Nelson.
Training camp and pre-season action with the Stars and national team duty during the World Junior Hockey Championship took considerable chunks out of the Kamloopsian’s WHL campaign.
Stankoven would push his scoring streak to 53 games if he tallied at least one point in each of the Blazers’ remaining 21 regular-season contests.
That would be good for second on the league’s all-time point string list, a spot currently shared by former Pats’ teammates Wally Schreiber and Jock Callander.
They both embarked on 47-game point streaks in 1981-1982. Former Vancouver Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning holds down the third spot, with a 45-game heater in 1980-1981.
Stankoven was slapped with a one-game suspension for a check from behind against the Vancouver Giants on Feb. 4 in Langley.
The Blazers (31-10-4-2) pushed their winning streak to four games in their captain’s absence, posting a 4-3 victory over the Victoria Royals on Feb. 5 to clinch a playoff spot.
Fans will see if the hometown hero’s rampage continues on Friday, Feb. 10, when Stankoven returns to the lineup for a tilt against the Saskatoon Blades (32-12-3-1). Game time is 7 p.m. at Sandman Centre.
The Blazers, with 68 points, are closing in on the Western Conference-leading Portland Winterhawks, who have 74 points.
Stankoven is inching closer to their former D-man Benning for a top-three spot in the WHL record book.
“That’d be really humbling,” Stankoven said. “It’s going to take a lot of luck and hard work, but you never know.”