Windsor defenseman Logan Stanley is a player that stands out, literally. At 6'7", it's always easy to tell when Stanley is on the ice. And fans in Windsor got to see a lot of him this year. After starting the year as a projected 2nd-3rd round pick, Stanley saw his ice time increase thanks to his steady play as the season progressed to the point that he has become a very likely first round selection in this year's NHL Draft.
Player: Logan Stanley
Team: Windsor Spitfires(OHL)
Height: 6'7" Weight: 225 lbs.
Stats: 64 games, 5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points, +7
Final NHL Central Scouting rank: 19th among North American skaters
What I Like:
Stanley is a very legit 6'7" and his ridiculous wingspan gives him a big advantage on the defensive end of the ice. He's really good one-on-one because he can maintain a soft gap while using his long stick to still be able to poke check the puck away from attackers. It is not easy to get around him.
He also uses his size for a physical advantage. He's a heavy, punishing hitter when he can line up an opponent, and uses his size and strength to pin forwards along the boards.
I had a tough time deciding to list Stanley's skating in the good category or the bad category. He's definitely not Paul Coffey out there, but for an 18-year-old kid that is 6'7", I don't think his skating is that bad. When I saw him play in the OHL this year, I came away convinced that his skating was good enough to hold up at the NHL level with his size being able to cover up any deficiencies. But I felt like his skating got exposed a bit at the World U18s against better, faster competition.
What I Don't Like:
-High risk project
As I noted above, Stanley struggled when he had to adjust to the higher talent level he faced at the World U18s. He's going to need time to develop if he's going to become an NHL regular, and the potential that he's a complete bust is relatively high for a player projected to go in the first round. It's generally accepted that bigger players take longer to develop though, and Stanley has at least shown some signs that there is potential there.
-Not a great puck-handler
The weakest area of his game right now is his ability to handle the puck. He shows the occasional flash--the night I saw him in Windsor, he had a couple really nice passes and scored a pretty goal--but isn't making skill plays with any kind of consistency yet. That might come as he adjusts to his body, but he still has a ways to go.
Stanley crept into the middle of the first round of most projections a little past the midway point of the year, though dropped back a little bit after the World U18s. He's probably too risky to crack the top-20, but the first round has a major drop off in talent after those first 20 picks, and when teams start reaching in picks 20-30 when things open up, it's easy to imagine a team gambling on the upside of a 6'7" defenseman.
Stanley might have one of the higher risk-reward factors in this Draft. He'll be a long-term project for the team that drafts him, as he's still a few years away from the NHL, but if he can adjust to his body and develop his skills just a little more to become a more consistent player, I really think he's got the potential to be a top pairing defenseman some day. Even if he doesn't reach his ceiling, he still has potential as a bottom pairing, physical defensive defenseman just because of his size.