#AfterAuston: Logan Stanley

We all know that if you were to evaluate the prospect pool of the Maple Leafs, one of the biggest concerns you’d have is the lack of top end talent on the blueline. There’s quite a bit of depth there, but there is a lack of “blue-chip” talent coming up the ranks. Which is a concern since there’s a pretty significant lack of top-end talent with the parent club, besides Jake Gardiner and, potentially Morgan Rielly.

This episode of #AfterAuston features big, physical defenseman Logan Stanley, a name the Maple Leafs could certainly evaluate for the above-described hole in the prospect depth chart. He plays for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and was also named to Team Canada’s roster this year for the World Junior U18 Championships.  

We’re going to take a look at what the Leafs’ evaluation of Stanley might determine by doing our own evaluation. Let’s see what we see, shall we?

QUALITATIVE

I already described Stanley as big and physical above, and that’s about as many words as you need to describe his play. It’d be a disservice to leave it there, though, so let’s go a bit deeper.

When you watch Stanley play, you are likely to come away quite impressed with how he not only possesses size but utilizes it. Unfortunately for him, it’s against his 17-year-old counterparts who can weigh up to 75 lbs less than him that he’s displaying this physical dominance. It’s hardly a new idea to suggest that big, physical players in junior aren’t really as skilled as they appear to be. I hope I don’t appear to be spouting narratives in that regard, but it really is a concern when he’s that big. 

This quote from Corey Pronman’s top 100 prospects is very telling:

The massive blueliner has been a lightning rod in the prospect community for a
number of years, with a wide variance of opinions. I’ve heard scouts who
wouldn’t use a pick in the first two rounds on him, and others who consider him
a top­-10 talent.

That’s quite the disparity in opinion, and I can very easily see why that’s the case. There seems to be split mindsets when it comes to what makes a talented and effective defenseman, and Logan Stanley lands very far to the “right’ in the spectrum of puck-moving to stay-at-home.

QUANTITATIVE

A lot of the statistically inclined folks are immediately off-put when you bring up a player of Stanley’s size, for the reasoning mentioned above regarding his smaller competition. At 6’7″ and 225 lbs, this is really not surprising. That’s a significant advantage over peers who usually weigh between 180 and 200 lbs. 

His scoring numbers are pretty much exactly what you’d expect them to be. He scored only 11 primary points (the same total as Sean Day with fewer physical tools). But, I mean, he had 103 PIMs so he must be good right?

Let’s look at some of his stats in comparison with Samuel Girard, another defensive prospect that the Leafs could reasonably evaluate him against.

We can see that Stanley is lacking in almost all quantitative measures, which is disappointing, to say the least. I’m not here to say Girard is an elite defenseman either, but if I’m making a bet on one or the other having an impact in the NHL, given the trend towards puck-moving defenseman, I’d be betting on Girard (stay tuned for an #AfterAuston on him tomorrow).

We saw above that Pronman has heard scouts place him anywhere from top-10 to 3rd round in talent. So let’s take a look at where he ranks around different public scouting services and personnel.

Scout/Service Craig Button Corey Pronman Damien Cox HockeyProspect.com ISS Ryan Kennedy
Stanley’s Rank 30 55 14 30 25 19

This definitely seems to show that disparity that Pronman mentioned above. 

HOW DOES HE FIT WITH THE LEAFS?

I think it’s safe to say that, while some crowds may consider Stanley to be an effective defenseman, he’s definitely not going to be the blue-chipper that the Leafs are searching for. I’d be far, far more inclined to select someone with a high ceiling around the same draft pick. This would essentially remain for as long as Stanley is on the board. I just can’t argue for drafting someone who projects to be, at best, Braydon Coburn or Zach Bogosian.

As such, I’d highly recommend passing on Stanley when the time comes around in favour of someone with a higher ceiling. Like, maybe, Samuel Girard, perhaps? I’ll talk about him in more detail tomorrow for the next #AfterAuston post, so we’ll leave that comparison there and pick it up tomorrow.

  • Oilers Rule

    Endless speculation but we will find out soon who the Leaf’s will pick. No doubt Hunter will surface some unknown high end prospects like he did last season. Several of whom were previously unknown to the masses but possessed a high ceiling if developed patiently and properly.

    As an Oiler’s fan indifferent (not a hater or lover) to the Leaf’s future success, I can’t help but feel a bit jealous of the management team in Toronto. Outside of the no-brainer first overall picks, Edmonton hasn’t struck oil with any of their other picks in many, many years and quite frankly its been a total embarrassment and absolute failure of epic proportions in regards to drafting and developing in Edmonton. Really, Hunter appears to have drafted and found more prospects for Toronto in one year than I can recall Edmonton surfacing in the last 5-6 years

  • Foximus

    He doesn’t sound like the kind of pick the Leafs will go for. Last year proved they are all about skill. They can pick up big blue liners for peanuts if they really wang them.

    As a Canucks fan, super jealous of the Leafs mgmt team

  • Jeremy Ian

    Bone-crunching checks are just not there any more (unless they are illegal, blind-side); skilled players know how to get around the big guys. We spent years watching Dion duked.

    If the choice is between Logan Stanley and Samuel Girard, I’d go with the latter. The only rub is that the guy is 5’9″; all the other numbers are pretty amazing.

    “Small Q defender who consistently shows he can be a top junior defender despite his lack of girth and height. An instinctive offense generator who four direction skating and light edging make him a player. An excellent PP QB with a heavy shot good hands and lateral agility. Instinctive in both ends. Gets open on the track and as an outlet for his defensive partner. His feet help him to close on defenders in his end. He is difficult to line up and hit because he keeps moving and is low, and posing off them. The question becomes how small can an NHL defender be? The Wild’s Jared Sprugeon lasted until the 6th round, only to have the team that drafted him, the Islanders, decide two years later to not sign him. He has solidified spot on the Minnesota backline. Clearly a terrific developmental player albeit one of a smaller variety. He led ALL Canadian Major junior defenseman in scoring this season and a point for game in the post season.”

    –Bill Placzek–

  • Capt.Jay

    After watching the playoffs we need some big bodies, but both teams in the finals were fast also. We do need a mix and already have lots of smaller above average speed guys but we don’t have a big body. Maybe he’s the one we take.

  • Gary Empey

    His lateral and backwards agility still need work. This would be the major concern. In today’s NHL game no one is likely to make the team unless they are a good to great skater. When picking a defenceman at 30/31, drafting a guy that ends up a bottom six pairing, should be considered a success.