By Josh Howald
Ripley roots run the deepest.
Logan Stanley was Windsor's first round pick in the OHL Priority Selection. Jamie Huber of the Wingham Ironmen and Holdyn Lansink (son of a former Bulldog captain) also went in Saturday's draft. (submitted photo)
The village can't quite claim the rights to Logan Stanley, but many would claim there is a healthy dose of Huron-Kinloss blood in the 6'6", 210-pound defenceman. The 15-year-old was picked 12th overall by the Windsor Spitfires in Saturday's OHL Priority Selection.
His father Jeff Stanley grew up in Huron-Kinloss, and while his son has never played for Ripley, he noted his son "certainly spent plenty of time up there. Lots of friends and family in Ripley, and we had many of them down at our place (in Waterloo) on the weekend."
"The kid is just huge," said Ripley's Mike Fair. "A great set of hands, plus a mean streak. He is really something else. It is awesome."
Jeff left Huron-Kinloss for work before Logan was born, but after playing four seasons with Elora, he wrapped up his senior hockey career with the Ripley Wolves. Jeff was no slouch on the ice, but held nowhere near the potential that his boy possesses.
He is described as a very mobile skater with an offensive upside, and the NHL Central Scouting Bureau says he has the potential to become an elite player at the next level. He spent the season with the Waterloo Wolves minor midget AAA squad, scoring eight goals and adding 20 assists for 28 points, with 95 penalty minutes. He added another five points in the postseason. Not to mention, the kid has impeccable timing. He played one regular season game for the GOJHL Waterloo Siskins in December, and got the call for two playoff games last week against the Stratford Cullitons. He scored the insurance marker that eliminated the Cullitons and gave Waterloo the Cherrey Cup, the prize for claiming the MIdwestern Conference title. He is likely to see more action with the Junior B Siskins in the Sutherland Cup tournament, the provincial championships.
"It has been a bit of a good run for him here," laughed his father, who added that it might continue yesterday when the provincial under-16 team is named. It was suggested that Logan bring a suit to a Tuesday morning press conference, which one would think means he is a candidate to be a captain or assistant captain for Team Ontario.
Jeff said they knew Logan was going to be picked in the first round, but didn't know which team would select him. Windsor was one of the top choices for father and son.
"It was a happy night at the house when it all came together," said Jeff. "Logan has a cousin playing in the AHL right now (Mike Latta), and he is kind of chasing his footsteps. We're confident that Bob Boughner and Warren Rychel are great hockey guys and will help develop Logan's game so he can continue down that path."
The Spitfires contacted Logan immediately after selecting him with the 12th overall pick. Then, Ripley called.
"Brent Armstrong played for Windsor back in the day, and he called Saturday to have a chat with Logan too. That was pretty cool."
Kincardine's family tree reached into Saturday's draft as well. Last year, the Guelph Storm took Garrett McFadden at 12th overall - the same pick as Stanley this year. While there were no Kincardine players drafted this time around, Holdyn Lansink was picked in the 12th round by the Erie Otters. Lansink is the son of former Kincardine Bulldog captain Mark Van Dooran. Lansink was just a year old when Van Dooran came to Kincardine.
"He has worked extremely hard over the past two seasons to improve his game," Van Dooran said of his son. "He brings a gritty hard nosed, three-zone effort every time he goes to the rink. But it is everything away from hockey I'm most proud of. He is a kind-hearted, caring young man who does well in school and appreciates family values."
"It's hard to believe he was just 1 when I was a Bulldog. It seems like yesterday. Where does the time go?" asked Van Dooran, who now lives in Hamilton and works at a Toronto prison.
Seldom a player is picked from the Western Junior C League. Usually, a player will be drafted and make his way back down to the jungle. Jamie Huber of the Wingham Ironmen is on his way up. THe 16-year-old had 41 goals and 82 points in his rookie season. He went in the ninth round to North Bay.
Jamie Huber, in colour, scores his 41st, and final, goal of the regular season against the Kincardine Bulldogs. (Independent file photo/Howald)
The Grey-Bruce Highlanders had two other players picked on the weekend. Owen Sound's Jordan Caskanette was picked by Kitchener in the 10th round, and Flesherton's Kyle Betts went to the Soo Greyhounds in the 10th.
In recent years, McFadden and Ripley's Garrett Meurs were both first round picks. Meurs, since drafted and signed by the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and playing for their AHL affiliate in Cleveland, went 13th overall in 2009. In 1993, Kincardine's Travis Riggin was taken fourth overall by the Belleville Bulls.