Stankoven, Galloway of Kamloops in NHL Draft dreamland

"I'm on a high right now," said Galloway, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound defenceman who toils for the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL. "I'm living on a cloud."

Childhood friends often envision scenarios of some day joining the NHL together.

Tyson Galloway and Logan Stankoven of Kamloops lived the dream on Saturday.

"I'm on a high right now," said Galloway, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound defenceman who toils for the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL. "I'm living on a cloud."

The Dallas Stars picked Kamloops Blazers' forward Stankoven in Round 2 (47th overall) and the St. Louis Blues nabbed Galloway in Round 5 (145th overall) of the NHL Draft.

Stankoven and Galloway have been playing with or against each other since they first laced skates in the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association.

"We're like best buddies, basically," said Stankoven, who was enjoying time with friends on Sunday at Paul Lake.

"It was a pretty special moment for us to share, with how much work we've put in together over the years and we played on so many different teams together growing up.

"We got together the other day and shared that special moment and congratulated each other."

Logan Stankoven
Kamloops Blazers' forward Logan Stankoven fires a shot toward Vancouver Giants' netminder Trent Miner at Sandman Centre. - Allen Douglas/KTW

The complete dream scenario did not quite come to fruition for Stankoven, whose Round 1 snub may have nightmarish consequences for NHL teams not named the Dallas Stars.

"With me being a smaller player, teams tend to pass over and stay away from guys on the smaller side," said Stankoven, a right shot who stands 5-foot-8 and weighs 170 pounds. "I guess I understand that side of it, but for me, it just makes me hungrier and makes me want to prove so many people wrong.

"It was a little bit of a disappointment, I guess, not only for me, but for my family, too. I try to hold myself to the highest standards and I really wanted to go in the first round and I tried to do as much as possible to solidify myself as a first-round pick."

Stankoven played in six regular-season WHL games in the pandemic-shortened 2021 WHL campaign, racking up 10 points, including seven goals, three of which were game winners.

Team Canada scooped him away from the Blazers in time for the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 World Championship, which ran from April 26 to May 6 near Dallas, Tex.

Stankoven, who was nabbed by the Blazers fifth overall in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, notched four goals and eight points in seven games for Canada and led the tournament with a plus-14 rating.

"It basically adds more fuel to the fire — go to the gym more, work out harder, stay after practice, shoot pucks," Stankoven said.

"When there are people that don't believe in you, it makes you want to prove to them that, hey, I can play at that highest level and play with the top dogs."

Galloway was elated to be drafted by the Blues. Perhaps only his mother, Lisa, was more jazzed.

"She was jumping up and down and shed a few tears, for sure," said Galloway, who had nine points, including four goals, in 17 WHL games last season.

"The last 24 hours have been pretty surreal. I'm just kind of letting it all sink in."

Tyson Galloway
Tyson Galloway has come a long way since his days toiling for the Kamloops Ice Hawks in 2013. - Kamloops This Week

Stankoven's last 24 hours included a call from Stars' owner Tom Gaglardi, who is also the majority owner of the Blazers.

Gaglardi informed Stankoven the Stars attempted to trade up to snag him, but no deal came to fruition.

"They didn't have to because I fell into their lap," Stankoven said. "I couldn't be happier."

Former Medicine Hat Tigers' director of player personnel Carter Sears, now a scout for the Blues, welcomed Galloway to St. Louis.

"He said, 'I couldn't grab you in the WHL Bantam Draft with Medicine Hat, so I was going to make sure I could get you today in the NHL Draft,'" said Galloway, who also spoke to Blues' GM Doug Armstrong. "I thought that was pretty cool and it made me feel like they really wanted me."

Stankoven and Galloway left the KMHA to join Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford and returned to Kamloops to team up with the Thompson Blazers in the B.C. Major Midget League.

The WHL opponents may some day clash in the NHL.

For now, they're just two buddies living the dream.

"We grew up basically on every team together," Galloway said. "It was honestly so special that we got to enjoy the day together. It's unreal."

© Kamloops This Week