B.C.'s Logan Stankoven reflects on first NHL season with Dallas

It's been a wild year for B.C.-born Logan Stankoven, who made his NHL debut with the Dallas Stars in February.

He was named the American Hockey League's rookie of the year, scored his first NHL goal on his 21st birthday, then headed to the Stanley Cup playoffs where he scored his first playoff goal during Game 3 of the first round.

"I didn't really expect a call-up," he told CBC's Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce about his move to the big league from the AHL's Dallas-affiliate Texas Stars.

"I just wanted to put myself in the best opportunity or best case scenario to get called up. So, it was pretty cool."

Now back in his hometown of Kamloops after the Stars' loss in the Western Conference Final earlier this month, Stankoven is ready for a bit of downtime — but still plans to train and keep sharp in anticipation of another season with Dallas.

He said he's happy to be back home, with family and friends, and his parents' home cooking.

"I just love the summer weather here," he said about Kamloops, where hot, dry summers are the norm.

"It's a big enough city, but at the same time it kind of gives small-town vibes and everywhere you go you seem to kind of run into somebody and it feels like a very supportive town."

Bunking with Joe Pavelski

For a while, Stankoven and teammate Wyatt Johnston were rooming in the home of longtime NHLer Joe Pavelski.

"It's a bit better than a hotel, I'd say," Stankoven said with a laugh during an interview with CBC in April. "Really nice of him to open up his home to me."

Veterans often host young players in their homes as a way to mentor them and offer them somewhere to stay when they aren't quite earning seven-figure salaries.

Pavelski had hosted Johnston in past years — in 2022 he told the Dallas News it was his first time hosting a younger teammate.

"He's just kind of there to help us grow as players and as people," Stankoven said. "He's a perfect role model for us."

Logan Stankoven, 21, is happy to be back in his hometown of Kamloops, B.C. for a couple months after a whirlwind hockey season.
Stankoven says he's happy to be back in his hometown of Kamloops, B.C., for a couple months after a whirlwind hockey season. (Dallas Stars/X)

Pavelski isn't the only NHL great lending support to Stankoven — after Dallas lost to Edmonton in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, Oilers captain Connor McDavid paid him some compliments.

"He just kind of said, hey, you're a great player. I've got a lot of respect for you," Stankoven said.

"It's the best player in the world talking to you. So you're kind of starstruck. It's pretty nice that he was able to do that."

Proud parents

Stankoven says his parents are "always supportive," checking in around games to see how he's doing.

After scoring his first NHL goal on the night he turned 21, against the New York Islanders on Feb. 26, he went on to score a pair of playoff goals against the Colorado Avalanche on May 11.

Our Game star Wes Stankoven and his 6-year-old son, Logan.
Wes Stankoven is pictured with six-year-old Logan in a CBC archive photo. ((Courtesy of Wes Stankoven))

His parents were visiting family in Campbell River that night and they all gathered around the TV to watch the game.

"We were all cheering and clapping in the house," his dad, Wes Stankoven, told CBC at the time.

"He wants to be able to contribute in a positive way."

Stankoven's parents hadn't expected their son to get called up to play for Dallas this year. But when he did, they became fast fans of the Dallas Stars.

"Being a B.C. boy, you're always, you know, a Canucks fan," Wes said. "But my loyalty of course is with Dallas and Logan."

Wes Stankoven said that while he's a B.C. boy and a Canucks fan, his loyalty is with his son and the team he's playing for.
Logan Stankoven's dad Wes said while he's a Canucks fan, his loyalty is with his son and the team he's playing for. (Submitted by Wes Stankoven)

Summer training

Stankoven said he'll continue training through the summer with a local athletic therapist and trainer, with the aim of making more of an impact with Dallas in the season ahead.

"I think you can always just find ways to get better and you learn from past mistakes," he said.

"I had a lot of good chances to score but just couldn't bear down and put the puck in the net. I want to be a player that's relied upon."

He'll also spend some time on the golf course, and by his parents' pool.

"I'll be around till about Labour Day weekend in September," he said.

"And then I'll head back down to Dallas and it's about a week until training camp starts … and get right back at it again."