2023 wjc dec 25 stankoven bankier

Best friends go international

From becoming tournament teammates when they were 10 to competing at the World Juniors, Caedan Bankier and Logan Stankoven have a lot of hockey memories together

Shannon Coulter
December 26, 2022

In the summer of 2013, Caedan Bankier and Logan Stankoven were two 10-year-olds competing for a spot at the Brick Invitational. After starting out in different tryout groups, they both made the team and soon found themselves flying to Edmonton and Los Angeles to represent their province.

“I played against him lots growing up in spring hockey, we were like six, seven, eight, but I never got to know [Bankier],” Stankoven says. “We had team practices together and that’s when I first really got to know Banks quite well.”

“It was just an instant connection,” Bankier adds. “We spent a lot of time together and just had similar interests.”

After the tournament, they kept in touch, reuniting in other spring tournaments and with Team B.C. at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. They were both selected by the Kamloops Blazers in the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft; Stankoven was chosen fifth overall by his hometown team and Bankier, a Surrey, B.C., product, went 49th overall.

“I was super excited,” Bankier says of being drafted with Stankoven. “[It] made the whole process a whole lot easier for me going in with somebody you know… [it] makes the experience all that more enjoyable too.”

Bankier and Stankoven were two of three 16-year-olds that were included on the Blazers’ roster for the 2018-19 season. From there, the forwards worked their way up to becoming the team’s leading scorers, with Stankoven recording 17 goals and 44 points and Bankier notching 20 goals and 33 points so far this season.

Not only has their scoring made an impact on the Blazers, so has their leadership. Stankoven was named an alternate captain with Kamloops for the 2020-21 season, became a co-captain in 2021-22 and wears the ‘C’ this year. Bankier is active in the Blazers’ leadership group as well, serving as an alternate captain for the past two seasons.

“We want it to be an enjoyable and awesome experience to play in Kamloops and we just try and make it feel like that wherever we go,” Bankier says.

The friendship continued to grow off the ice too—from playing video games (the NHL series and Fortnite are games of choice) to Bankier moving into Stankoven’s family home for a month during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The word was early January, maybe [they’d] start back up the season again, so Banks wanted to come to Kamloops and train with a few of us,” Stankoven explains.

“It was hard for me to find training in Vancouver, so I asked him if I could live with him for a little bit before the season started and he said yes,” Bankier adds. “We had an off day […] and we decided to go on an outdoor rink just to skate around. We were pretty fortunate we were the only ones out there and we still had the whole day left. So, Stanks decided to book us a tee time on a golf course afterwards.”

“It was a crazy day,” Stankoven says. “It’s not too often that you go golfing and then you’ll go skate on an outdoor pond on the same day in the middle of December.”

When Stankoven attended selection camp last year ahead of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, he had teammate Dylan Garand by his side, who had previously competed in the 2021 World Juniors. This year, the roles reversed: Stankoven is coming off a gold medal performance in August while Bankier attended his first Team Canada camp.

“It’s nice to have somebody that you go through this whole process with. It’s not easy,” Stankoven says. “It’s stressful being a guy that was trying to fight for a spot on the team, and with me going through it last year, I was able to help Banks this year.”

“On the plane ride, I think I asked him a million questions about what his experience was like and just what to expect for me,” Bankier adds. “Going in last year, he just worked his way onto the team and that was my goal this year: to work my way on. I tried to replicate everything he did last year and that way, we could experience this event again together.”

After a strong showing at selection camp, the two friends waited to hear if they would be taking the ice together wearing the Maple Leaf.

“He’s had a real nice season with our team back in Kamloops,” Stankoven says of Bankier. “He went out there in two games [against a team of U SPORTS all-stars] and had a goal and a couple assists and looked really good. [I was] just proud of him as a friend.”

“I couldn’t believe it,” Bankier says about making Canada’s National Junior Team. “First, I got a knock on the door, and it was the [housekeeping] service… I had so many emotions running through my head. Obviously, a bit later I got a knock on the door and there was the assistant coach and the camera out there.

“You watch those videos on social media from years past with guys. For you to be the one in the video, I can’t even describe it. It’s a lifelong dream.”

From tournament teammates to Blazers leaders, the duo are ready to embrace the international stage together as they compete in Halifax at the 2023 World Juniors.

“Very few get to experience the World Juniors, but only a handful get to do it with their best friends,” Bankier says. “I’m pretty lucky and I’m really looking forward to it.”

“We’ve created some good memories over the years,” Stankoven says. “I think having a crack at this tournament together is something that I think is going to really pay off in the long run with our team hosting the Memorial Cup. Hopefully [we] win a gold medal here and take this experience back to our team and have a good rest of the season.”

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

Recent News
Most Popular
2024 WPHC: CAN 2 – USA 1 (Gold Medal)
Kingsmill was sensational, backstopping Canada to a world title.
2024 WPHC: CAN 2 – CHN 1 (Semifinal)
Kovacevich and Cozzolino scored to send Canada to play for gold.
2024 WPHC: CAN 5 – CZE 1 (Preliminary)
Dunn and McGregor had 2G each as Canada capped a perfect prelims.
2024 WPHC: CAN 10 – ITA 0 (Preliminary)
McGregor scored four goals to help Canada to its second win.