Checking in at the mid-point of the second round is towering defenseman Logan Stanley. There are few things that cause a greater divide in opinions among professional and armchair scouts alike than that of the ‘big stay at home D-man’. While the stats would seem to peg him as a guy who would go later on, several agencies currently have him rated as a first round pick.
Follow after the jump as we dig in to what may be one of the more divisive prospects for this draft.
- Age: 17, 1998-08-26
- Birthplace: Kitchener, ON, CAN
- Frame: 6’6″ 209 lbs.
- Position: D
- Handedness: L
- Draft Year Team: Windsor Spitfires
- Accomplishments/Awards: 2015/16 CHL Top Prospects Game
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“Again, Logan’s another player that just continued to develop throughout the year,” Ryan said. “He’s one of the rare combinations of size and skating ability. “He’s a quality, puck-moving defencemen with a ton of upside. No one else in the draft has his skill set.”
“From veteran OHL watchers to NHL scouts, not many are buying into the Logan Stanley hype that the towering Windsor defenceman is a sure-fire first-rounder. Undeniably, Stanley has made impressive strides this season, yet the scouts are wary of his skating and specifically his pivots, agility, and backwards mobility.”
“Defensively, he’s a very impressive player. I love his aggression in using his size and reach to prevent entry into the offensive zone. He loves stepping up into the neutral zone, or at the blueline, using his long reach to break up plays. His above average mobility makes him a tough guy to get around one on one too. Offensively, I do see potential. He’s starting to look more comfortable skating the puck out and he’s generally pretty calm under the pressure of the forecheck. But, I’m not sure the offensive hockey sense or puck skill is good enough for him to develop that side of his game to the point where it will be an asset at the next level.”
Stanley played a significant role on a surprisingly good Spitfires team this year. He spent a good chunk of the season with fellow draft eligible Mikhail Sergachev before being moved into a more shut-down role on a pairing with Jalen Chatfield. While his skating is still a bit of a work in progress, Stanley has a good stick in the defensive zone, and possesses a natural advantage due to his height using it to disrupt opposing players due to his great size. He is also an adept physical player, and is not afraid to take the body and use his size to his advantage.
At first glance pGPS paints Stanley in a pretty favorable light as a better than 30% chance of getting an NHLer late in or outside of the first round is very good. However Stanley’s cohort is much smaller due to his uncommon size, and his pGPS P/GP is one of the lowest of our ranked prospects. This would seem to suggest that though players like Stanley have a good shot of becoming NHLers, the chances of becoming an impact player are low. Also due to the fact that defensemen, and taller skaters in general, are perceived to take longer to develop than others, there could be cases of teams holding on to players of his ilk longer than they might otherwise.
Teams looking at Stanley will likely be hoping to get a guy who can be the defensive anchor of a top-4 pairing. While research has shown that even the ‘stay-at-home’ guys at the NHL tended to be strong scorers in junior, there is always a chance that Stanley could break out offensively in the future similarly to a player like Tyler Myers. There is a relatively good chance chance that Stanley goes in the first round come draft day. While most statistical analysis would have him as a guy going later into the draft, player development doesn’t always fall within predictable measures, and if one team believes that he can overcome his weaknesses they may see him as a guy who could be a defensive cornerstone.