Griffins' playoff push bolstered by addition of longtime Oil King, WHL champion Dowhaniuk

Logan Dowhaniuk's WHL career included 227 games with Edmonton Oil Kings. The Sherwood Park product is returning home to join the Griffins after playing the first part of the season with Fort Wayne in the ECHL (Andy Devlin photo).
Logan Dowhaniuk's WHL career included 227 games with Edmonton Oil Kings. The Sherwood Park product is returning home to join the Griffins after playing the first part of the season with Fort Wayne in the ECHL (Andy Devlin photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – As they push for the program's first Canada West playoff berth down the stretch of the 2023-24 season, the MacEwan Griffins men's hockey team's efforts have been bolstered by a huge addition.

Long-time former Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Logan Dowhaniuk – a key cog on the blueline of the 2021-22 Western Hockey League champs – has joined the Griffins ahead of their first action of the second semester: a home-and-home series against Calgary (Friday, 7 p.m. in #YYC and Saturday, 5 p.m., Downtown Community Arena, both Canada West TV).


The Sherwood Park product is returning home after spending the first half of the 2023-24 season as a rookie pro with the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets.

"I was in Fort Wayne for a bit and coming back home is nice," said the 5-foot-11, 203-pound rearguard. "You get to be with the family again and get some home-cooked meals, which is nice. I don't have to cook for myself anymore, so that's good. 

"I'm happy to be back and I'm excited to get things going with MacEwan."

Dowhaniuk saw action in seven games at Fort Wayne, but came home in search of more playing time, tapping into his WHL Scholarship by joining MacEwan.

"It was fun," he said of the pro experience. "It was a good group of guys, and I was enjoying it up there, but things just didn't work out. I think it was a good opportunity for me, but I wasn't playing, so I decided to come back here and get some ice time."

It's fair to say he will get that in spades with the Griffins, likely slotting in on the top pairing with fellow WHL veteran Sean Comrie.

"Obviously, we're excited to have him," said MacEwan head coach Zack Dailey. "I think he's going to be someone who makes an impact right away. He helps all over the ice – powerplay, penalty kill, five on five. He's really good at breaking pucks out, really good with the puck and is smart and makes plays. 

"I think he will help immediately. I also think it helps with recruiting a little bit, as well, so we're super happy to have him."

Dowhaniuk helps bring a winning culture to MacEwan; among his 227 games with the Oil Kings over parts of six seasons was the special 2021-22 campaign in which Edmonton won the WHL championship over Seattle and played in the Memorial Cup.

"That was an unreal experience," he said, playing with players such as Dylan Guenther, Jake Neighbours, Kaiden Guhle and Sebastian Cossa. "I think we probably could have won it a couple more times throughout the COVID years. With that group of guys finally getting it done was a lot of fun and I'll remember that for the rest of my life."

Logan Dowhaniuk helped the Edmonton Oil Kings win the 2021-22 WHL Championship (Andy Devlin photo).

Returning to Edmonton to join MacEwan brings those memories flooding back for Dowhaniuk, who remembers walking past the Griffins' dressing rooms every day when the Oil Kings practiced in the Downtown Community Arena. He has some familiarity in the Griffins' room, too, as he was once a teammate of defenceman Loeden Schaufler on the Oil Kings.

"I've known him for quite a bit, so it's nice to see some familiar faces and guys from around the area who I grew up playing with and against," he said.

Dowhaniuk finished his WHL career last season with Moose Jaw after a December 2022 trade and played a meaningful top-four role for the Warriors in a 10-game playoff run into the second round. 

All total, the OHA Edmonton U18 Prep product has 248 WHL regular season games and 29 more in the playoffs on his resume – valuable experience that can help the Griffins immediately.

"I think this MacEwan team right now is looking for a playoff spot," he said, joining a Griffins squad that's currently three points ahead of Regina for the last post-season berth in Canada West. "I've had a lot of experience going deep in the playoffs and obviously winning it all, so I think bringing that here, hopefully I can help push the team into a playoff spot and go far."

Dailey has already noticed his impact in practice and is eager to get him into game action.

"He has a winning pedigree," he said. "The guy just knows how to win. The thing I like is just his calmness. Up or down, he plays the same way and that's what our group is trying to strive to. We're trying to be a team that no matter what the score is plays the same way and is confident in our game plan and confident in our abilities. He's someone who exemplifies that."