Mention the name Logan Stanley to any Jets fan and you’re sure to get a reaction of some sort – maybe more of a reaction than any other prospect in our top ten list. Very few people deny he was drafted way to high based on the questions surrounding his ability to play with the puck and overall skating ability. As the NHL continues to evolve into a game where smaller, faster players are preferred, the Jets drafting a hulking 6’7″ defenseman felt like an out-of-touch pick at best and a complete waste of a first rounder at worst. Still, Stanley has improved, so much so that his future in the NHL seems more like an inevitability more than a possibility.
- Born: May 26, 1998 (Age 21)
- Birthplace: Kitchener, ONT
- Position: Defense
- Handedness: Left
- Frame: 6’7″ / 231 lbs
- Drafted: 2016 – 1st Round – 18 Overall
- Played Last Year: Manitoba Moose (AHL)
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Logan Stanley did some of his best work in sneakers this summer preparing for his third NHL training camp. The Winnipeg Jets blue-line prospect spent considerable time on the field in Waterloo, Ont., focusing on quickness, an area of his game that required a significant upgrade from his junior days.
Stanley a step faster following off-season training regimen – Winnipeg Free Press (Sept 18, 2018)
“Being able to play at the higher speed and to adapt to that was great,” said Stanley, who had six goals and 22 points in 73 games with the Moose last season. “Obviously, I still have to work on it, but it was great for me to play with faster players and play against faster players last year.
Stanley sets sights on next step: 2016 first rounder making progress, seeing results – Winnipeg Sun (Jun 27, 2019)
What We Said At The Time:
However, my issue is that Stanley is not a player that I would want my team to select at 22nd overall, as there are going to be players who have garnered results that indicate higher ceilings and lower floors. Even at the Jets 36th overall pick, I’d still be skeptical.
Where would I draft Stanley? I would use a third round pick on him, but he won’t be around then and the Jets’ do not have a third anyways. If the Jets do draft Stanley at 22nd or 36th overall, I hope they make up for it by garnering plus value later in the draft. Otherwise, the Jets could end up with another Lucas Sutter on their hands.”
What We Say Now:
It seems that the biggest knock against Logan Stanley is the position at which he was drafted which of course isn’t an actual issue with Logan Stanley as it is a mistake that the Jets and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff made back in the 2016 NHL Draft. If Stanley had been picked in the second round or even in a third round pick that the Jets could have acquired by trading down in the draft, there could have been quite a few lauding the Jets GM for maximizing value of a low first round pick and nabbing a sizable defenseman with some good upside to him.
If you look past the number he was drafted at and the circumstances around him, the truth is Logan has shown growth in his game each of the last three seasons. He was a productive part of the Windsor Spitfires winning the 2017 Memorial Cup and followed that up with a trade to his hometown Kitchener Rangers and helped lead them to a Memorial Cup berth in 2018. He joined the Manitoba Moose for his first full pro season last year and after a bit of a slow start, finished strong and put up a respectable 22 points while continuing to develop his physical game on a pro level.
Stanley’s size and shot are what will get him a look at the NHL level and it may be even as early as this coming season, but it’s his foot speed and decision making – two areas where the Jets knew he needed the most work back when they drafted him – that will need to continue to get better if he’s going to have any impact at the top level of hockey. Given how he’s progressed in those areas the last three years, there is little doubt we could see even better from him this coming season.