CHL Notebook: Stars prospect Stankoven steps up in WHL

Future NHL stars are developing in the Canadian Hockey League this season. Each week, NHL.com will highlight some of the top NHL-related prospects in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League.

Logan Stankoven took a big step in Dallas Stars training camp this offseason, and the Stars expect to see an even bigger one in the 19-year-old prospect’s future.

The center, a second-round pick (No. 47) in the 2021 NHL draft, looked overwhelmed at times during training camp last season. But a year of development brought a very different result.

“This year, coming into camp, he’s been dominant,” Stars director of player personnel Rich Peverley said. “He was dominant in Traverse City [NHL Prospect Tournament], he was very good in the main camp. This is the development of the man and the player.

“When I see that kind of progression, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s coming back extremely highly motivated … he’s going to come in and probably be one of our best players in training camp next year.”

Stankoven looked like one of the best players in the WHL this season. He started the season on an 11-game hitting streak, leads Kamloops with 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists), has seven multi-point games and his 2.09 points per game average is third in the league.

Tweet from @blazerhockey: This is our captain! This is our leader! @LoganStankoven keep the HEAT coming, now it’s 7-0 Blazers 🔥🔥🔥 #whl #blazernation pic.twitter.com/z7eSAv2nrU

Stankoven was fourth in the WHL with 45 goals last season when he was named the WHL and CHL Player of the Year. But Peverley said the Stars want Stankoven to have even more of a shooting mentality and be more comfortable playing in the tight spots in the offensive zone.

He is averaging 7.2 shots on goal per game so far, up from 5.4 last season.

“I think being a threat from all areas of the ice, having a shooting mentality, keeps goalies on their minds,” Stankoven said. “Since I came back [to Kamloops], I really tried to work on being more of a shooter. That’s not to be selfish and not use my teammates, but if I have a clear opportunity to shoot, then take it and try to find the back of the net as much as possible.”

So far the Stars are happy with what they’ve seen and are excited for the future, which this season will likely include a spot with Canada at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship — Stankoven helped Canada win in 2022 WJC in August — and a spot in the Memorial Cup, hosted by Kamloops.

“He’s a great kid,” Peverley said. “He’s one of the most motivated people and players I’ve ever worked with. He has a burning desire to be successful. He’s a fantastic player. He’s rebounded, he’s shooting more, he’s getting to the tough areas of the ice. He uses his teammates. He’s just a tough guy. guy to play against.

“He’s not the tallest guy in the world (5-foot-7, 170 pounds), but he’s strong on his feet and uses his body well and plays with a lot of energy. He’s done really well so far.”

OTHERS TO WATCH

Nolan Burke, C, Sarnia (Nashville Predators): The 19-year-old forward passed through the 2021 and 2022 NHL drafts, but after scoring 15 goals in his first 16 games, Burke signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Predators in November. 14. Burke has 24 points, including 10 points (eight goals, two assists) on a five-point streak. He had his first OHL hat trick, including the tying goal, in a 6–5 loss to Guelph on November 2.

David Spacek, D, Sherbrooke (Minnesota Wild): Spacek has 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) during a nine-point streak, the second-most by a QMJHL defenseman this season. That includes his first three-point game (one goal, two assists) in a 6-0 win against Val-d’Or on Nov. 3. The 19-year-old is seventh among QMJHL defensemen with 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in 18 games. The Wild selected Spacek in the fifth round (No. 153) of the 2022 draft after going unselected in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Jared Davidson, C, Seattle (Montreal Canadiens): Davidson has 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) on a 10-point streak. He has six multi-point games during the streak, including four with at least three points. The 20-year-old has 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 12 games. Davidson had 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) in 82 games from 2019-21 and entered the NHL draft in 2020 and 2021, but was selected by the Canadiens in the fifth round (No. 130) of the 2022 draft. was eighth in WHL with 89 points (42 goals, 47 assists) in 64 games last season.

Photo: Allen Douglas

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