DUBNetwork had the pleasure of catching up with Kamloops Blazers’ 16-year-old forward Logan Stankoven this week. We broke the ice with some word association before talking about his record-setting season, first WHL experience, and his offseason.
Bar Down: Puck hitting the crossbar and obviously going down into the net
Connor Zary: Skilled
Dylan Garand: Calm
Ball Hockey: Cardio
Pre-Game Meal: Chicken and Rice
Guilty Pleasure: Chips
Movie: Miracle on Ice
If he could have a goal song: Kernkraft 400 – Bruins Mix
Hobbies: Ball Hockey. Tennis, ping pong. He’s even tried pickleball.
Most used emoji: 😂
The best piece of advice he’s received: ‘Stay positive’ – dad
Year in Review:
It’s been quite the year for you, being drafted by your hometown team and a record-setting Major Midget season. Have you been able to take some time to reflect on this past season?
Yeah, kind of. I’ve been very fortunate with all the opportunities I’ve been given. Coming up as a 15-year-old playing with the Blazers there in regular season and playoffs. Not every 15-year-old gets to do that. I’m just looking forward to the future and hard work comes with that. It’s a long road.
Every time I watch you, some part of your game has noticeably improved. This season your release has been lethal. How many pucks do you shoot a day?
Days like today I probably wouldn’t be shooting pucks. Between ice time and then ball hockey I have been home for about 30 minutes today. Days where I just have dry land then I’m definitely shooting some pucks and trying to improve.
After getting your first taste of WHL action, is there a specific area of your game you are really looking to improve?
Probably speed. Speed is the name of the game. That jump in speed from Major Midget to the WHL. Size is one, but that’s something you can’t control. You just go out and play your game.
Definitely, look how many great forwards are breaking into the NHL that don’t have that size. Mark Recchi made a career of it. Your first WHL game was actually on Mark Recchi night, how was that?
It was awesome. I talked to him after the game, he shook my hand and introduced himself. He said great game out there. I hadn’t really talked to him before. A few years back, I gave his nephew a few hockey cards for Mark to get signed because he works with the Penguins. I think he ended up losing those cards but he was pretty classy and he brought me back a signed Sidney Crosby jersey. It was very nice of him, I’m very thankful for that.
Were there any players on the Blazers that really put their arm around you and helped you this season?
For sure, lots of guys were encouraging. A guy like Quinn Schmiemann and Connor Zary. I didn’t get to know him (Zary) at first but as the season went on we started talking lots, he’s a great guy. Zane Franklin. Jermaine Loewen was a great Captain, I think he was the best Captain I’ve had. I could keep naming guys, they are all great.
Is there a prankster in the room?
I’d probably have to say Centazzo. Zaner is probably in there for sure, he’s a funny guy.
Watching your games last season, you had some good chances but were a bit snake bitten. In the playoffs, you got that first goal, what did it feel like?
It was a special feeling. It was in Victoria, I think it was game 5. It was pretty awesome, it was nice to get the monkey off my back. It was a great pass by Orin, he just laid it right onto my stick. I was just driving the net hard. It was too bad we couldn’t win that series.
You skated at the prospects camp recently with the new draft class. Were you impressed by them?
I knew a few of the guys from playing with them in previous years in Bantam. They are some very good players. Levis and Lindgren are the two first rounders, they’re very good. All the players that are drafted are great players. It was great to get on the ice with them and see what their skills are.
Are you giving Levis and Lindgren the hard sell? Do you text them?
I ask them about it, I stayed with Levis in the prospects camp. He’s a really nice guy. I knew him a bit before that. It depends on what route they want to go. Obviously, I’d like them to sign but it is up to them.
Do you have any personal and/or team goals for your first full WHL season?
Yeah. Team goals we want to make playoffs again and going further than we did this year. Personal goals, I just want to do what I can. It will be an adjustment coming up as a 16-year-old and I’m looking forward to it.
Are you familiar with your new head coach, Shaun Clouston?
No, not really. He sent me a text the other day introducing himself, that was nice of him. I’ve heard lots of good things about him.
Note: Logan won the scoring title this season.
This is your first full season playing ball hockey, what has that been like?
Last year I got to play a bit with the Flyers and then with the Blackjacks at Provincials. This year has been good. Its good cardio for sure, it is my CrossFit training, I like to get my running in. It’s also competitive and it’s good for ball skills and eye-hand coordination. I love it.
How much different is ball hockey from ice hockey?
It’s a little bit different for sure. You can’t glide. Obviously, it’s harder on the backcheck. It is a little bit harder, but that’s what makes it easier on the ice.
Does it help your stickhandling?
Yeah, I found that this year in my Spring ice that my hands have gotten a little bit quicker. It’s been a help for sure.
Is it true you started a Twitter page for your team?
Yeah, it is. I haven’t put anything on there lately since I’ve been so busy with school. Some of my buddies are like why don’t you start a Twitter page and I was like “okay, sure!”.
That brings me to my last question, who uses social media more, you or your dad?
My dad for sure. I probably browse it more than him but he probably likes things or tweets things more than I do. I like to use it for news and sports.
Kamloops is looking forward to watching Logan in his first full WHL season, playing for his hometown Blazers.