April 24, 2024

Stankoven ready to take the next step with Stars

DALLAS — Logan Stankoven wants to follow in the footsteps of Wyatt McEoin with the Dallas Stars this season.

Johnston, selected by the Stars in the first round (No. 23) of the 2021 NHL Draft, made the team out of training camp as a 19-year-old last season and had 41 points (24 goals, 17 assists) in 82 regular-season games. He also had six points (four goals, two assists) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

“I think you feel a little more confident in your abilities,” Stankoven said. “Obviously Wyatt is a special player and had a great season. He paid close attention to what he was doing right to develop consistency.”

Stankoven, 20, selected by Dallas in the second round (No. 47) of the 2021 draft, was one of the final cuts in training camp last season, playing in five preseason games before being sent back to Kamloops of the Hockey League It is western. .

With Kamloops, Stankoven had 97 points (34 goals, 63 assists) in 48 regular season games and a league-leading 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 14 playoff games.

He also played for Canada at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, scoring 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in seven games to help them win the gold medal.

“I tried to enjoy it as much as I could. 10 long months of hockey,” Stankoven said. “Not much time off, but that’s what the NHL is all about.”

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Stankoven also said that during those 10 months he worked on some of the more intangible aspects of his game to prepare for his transition to professional hockey this season.

“I think just being patient. Sometimes, maybe the goals and points and everything that you want don’t come right away, so I think you have to grind through it and put your time in,” Stankoven said. “I also think that my playmaking game has taken another step.”

To Stars general manager Jim Nill, what helped Stankoven take his game to the next level was the playing time he got with Kamloops.

“Well, they have to be in the lineup every night,” Nill said. “I don’t care if that’s the first line, the second line, the third line, the fourth. It doesn’t matter. If you’re playing every night, you’re developing. But if you’re sitting in the press box, playing one out of every three games, which is not good for development.”

It remains to be seen if Stankoven will make the Stars’ roster this season as a result of that development, but just like last training camp, he will get an opportunity despite Dallas promoting a veteran. Matt Duchene, Craig Smithand Sam Cruach in free agency.

“I think it’s the same message from [Nill] all the time: If you’re ready then we’ll make room for you,” said Rich Peverley, Dallas’ director of player personnel. “But it doesn’t hurt guys to go down and earn their streaks. It’s a big jump from the junior league to the American Hockey League, and you’re talking about a bigger jump to go from there to the NHL. It’s a process, and it’s very important to earn it.”

That jump could be even bigger for someone like Stankoven, who lived in town when he played for Kamloops.

“It’s huge. When you see a player succeed in the juniors, you hope it’s transferable straight away, but sometimes it’s easy to see the human element,” Stars coach Neil Graham said. ‘ American Hockey League affiliate i. Texas. “When you take in the human element, not only are you away from family, or bills, or girlfriends, or friends, you’re on the other side of North America trying to figure things out on your own.

“It’s so simple now you need an American mobile phone, an American bank account, you should have some things set up with your social security. These are all things that are sorted out, but your job is to focus on being on the best hockey. player you can be, win hockey games and contribute at the NHL or AHL level. There are outside influences and distractions.”

Despite all that, Stankoven said he’s ready no matter where his professional career starts this season.

“I think, also, being a smaller guy (5-foot-7, 170 pounds), it’s going to be more of a learning curve for me,” he said. “If I can be in Dallas at the beginning of the season, that would be awesome. If not, there’s no problem playing down in Austin with the Texas team. It’s just about growing your game every day. It’s patient. I hope to enter the League immediately. It will be tough, but I know if I put in the work it will be possible.”

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