Just the thought of it is a little bit overwhelming.

Logan Stankoven is 21, he was playing junior hockey last season, and now he’s in his first NHL postseason.

Mix into that the fact the noted goal-scorer went 21 games without a goal, and you can imagine the mental gymnastics he must be going through.

But, after he popped two goals into the net Saturday in a 4-1 Game 3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, the reports were that Stankoven has been a model of calm and focus during all of this.

“I was talking to him this morning about it, he said it’s by far the longest he’s ever gone anytime in hockey without a goal,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said after Game 3. “I felt he would get one tonight. It was just a matter of time with the way he was playing. But I’ve had a couple of conversations with him during this scoring slump and just reminded him that we don’t need the scoring. We have guys, we get enough scoring. What he’s bringing us, all the intangibles, the energy, the relentless puck pursuit, the battles, the setting up other guys and making plays. That stuff alone has earned him to the opportunities he’s gotten.”

Pete DeBoer on strong road win in Game 3 vs Colorado

That attitude has helped carry Stankoven, a 2021 second-round draft pick from the Kamloops Blazers. In his last two seasons in Major Junior, he tallied 201 points (79 goals, 122 assists) in just 107 games. He was voted Player of the Year in the Canadian Hockey League and topped that off with 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 14 playoff games last season.

Of course, there was some thought that he might have to make some adjustments in his step up to the AHL this season, but he tallied 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists) in 47 games and was named Rookie of the Year, despite being called up to the NHL for the final six weeks of the season.

Once in the NHL, Stankoven tallied five goals in his first six games and seemed to have no adversity whatsoever. But then things tightened up, and he went the final 12 games with no goals. On top of that, he was goal-less in his first nine playoff games. That could have gotten to somebody else, but Stankoven said he just focused on playing hard and playing smart.

“I feel like I’ve been doing the right things but just couldn’t find the back of the net,” Stankoven said. “There’s always bumps in the road being a young guy in the league, so I’m just trying to find my way and earn the coaches’ trust.”

Seguin and Stankoven speak to the media after Game 3

DeBoer certainly showed confidence. He moved Stankoven up to the top line with Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson and upped his time on ice. He said that getting Stankoven late in the season added significant lineup depth and a different element for the team.

“You talk about deadline acquisitions, it was like going out and getting a really good NHL player,” DeBoer said. “I mean, we didn’t know that. He was a rookie and we hoped that it would translate, but you never know until you jump in. And then you never know when the moment might be too big for a young player. But he’s handled everything we’ve thrown at him and excelled. He’s made every line he’s played on better. And never mind the scoring, his defensive details, his awareness, and responsibility on the ice and when he’s got the puck is way beyond his years.”

Stankoven said the support of veteran players has helped him a great deal.

“Just staying composed,” he said. “Even last series when we went down 2-0 to Vegas, there was no panic in the room. Everyone kind of trusts each other, so it’s nice to have a lot of veteran guys to lean on and learn from.”

Likewise, the veterans say they love the energy added by players like Stankoven and Wyatt Johnston, 20.

“We just have these guys that are stepping up at different times,” forward Tyler Seguin said. “We’ve had Johnny almost win a series on his own against Vegas. We’ve had Stanky coming in and playing his part, doing an incredible job. It takes a team to be successful at this time of year, and it’s the team that’s doing it right now.”

DeBoer added 22-year-old defenseman Thomas Harley to that group, and said the contributions are crucial to the success of the Stars.

“All three of those kids are playing big roles for us, major roles,” DeBoer said. “And they do have energy. They don’t look as fatigued on back-to-back nights or as the series gets going. You need those young legs if you’re going to go anywhere and go through the gauntlet and the grind of what we’re going through right now. So, those guys bring a youthful enthusiasm every day that I think is contagious to our group.”

Key Numbers

Dallas has scored first in all three games of this series and has held the lead for 114:59. Colorado won Game 1 in overtime, so it has technically never led with a running clock.

Stars forward Tyler Seguin has 9 goals in six games against the Avalanche this season. Seguin scored six times in three games during the regular season and has three goals in three playoff games so far.

Stars goalie Jake Oettinger has passed the 1,000 save mark, ranking sixth in franchise playoff history. Oettinger is 25 and has already played in 38 postseason games.

He Said It

“It’s just a haircut. It’s a test for my wife to make sure she truly loves me, and she does, so it was great.”

- Stars forward Tyler Seguin when asked about the mullet style haircut he got before Game 2, and the fact he has scored three goals since getting it

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.

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