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?
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.
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|
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.