April 02 2016 08:00AM
Earlier this week, Mark Jankowski signed his entry-level deal with the Calgary Flames and an ATO for the AHL Stockton Heat, fulfilling the wishes of both player and club to arrive at a deal before the end of the regular season.
This came just a few days after the end of Jankowski's college career, a double-overtime loss to Minnesota-Duluth in the NCAA tournament as his Providence College Friars pursued their second straight national title. It was not to be.
That, then wrapped up the frankly very odd career of Jankowski, who is already receiving considerable "Please ignore the draft position at which he was selected" talk from Flames brass. I think that's a reasonable position for the organization to take, given that it wasn't until this year that Jankowski really established himself as any sort of considerable force in most games he played, and even then, he was hardly as overwhelming as you'd like a first-round pick to be in his draft-year-plus-4.
March 23 2016 12:00PM
This week I'm going to do a few posts about NCAA prospects for various sites around the Nation Network. Most will be based on in-person viewings, speaking with their coaches, and so on. Some will not. Okay that's it bye.
On Saturday, Boston University will play its first game in two weeks to kick off what it hopes will be a run to the Frozen Four for the second straight year. The Terriers will play the University of Denver Pioneers, having crashed out of the Hockey East tournament in the quarterfinals with two straight losses to a very good UMass Lowell team.
I saw both of those games and, as per usual, I tracked the play of Flames draft pick Brandon Hickey (a size-y offensive defenseman taken in the third round in 2014). And unfortunately what I saw continued something of a troubling trend.
A little more than a month and a half ago I told you Hickey was playing very well on BU's second pairing and that was true. In the games I'd seen, he was a massive possession force, dominating middling competition to the tune of a plus-4.9 CF% (56.2 percent) and plus-32.7 GF% (72.7%). Now granted, that latter number is never going to last, and it was only in seven games of viewing, but in the last seven weeks I've nearly doubled those live observations, and his play has steadily declined.
January 30 2016 08:00AM
1. Where we're at
As we round the bend into February, it comes with the tacit acknowledgement that this is when college hockey starts to get Serious. Teams really only have a month left in their regular seasons at this point, and at this point we have a pretty clear picture of what teams "are," or at least, where they're going to end up near the end of the year.
This is also true of players. Those who have been lucky in terms of PDO for the first 24 or so games of the season aren't likely to be victimized by cold runs that are going to hurt their season point totals too badly, and those who have struggled to produce despite some solid play otherwise aren't likely to mount any sort of major improvement in their numbers.
With this in mind, I figured it was as good a time as any to give y'all an update on the two Flames prospects I see on a regular basis: controversial first-round forward Mark Jankowski of Providence College, and steady Canada World Junior-er defenseman Brandon Hickey of Boston University.
November 27 2015 02:30PM
1. What's the plan?
Earlier this week there were three stories in a row here on Flames Nation, after Joni Ortio was put on waivers, entitled, "Stockton's goalie situation is really unclear," "Jonio Ortio clears waivers, likely to be assigned to Stockton Heat," and finally, "What were the Flames thinking with three goalies?"
The latter of these was something fans should have been saying all year, because it was Calgary burning a roster spot on Ortio, who ended up getting into a whopping 140 minutes of action over four games, and being really bad (.868). There was no need for it, and it highlighted an area of organizational concern that's been lingering for at least the last several years.
November 21 2015 10:13AM
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports
It's time for the first Flames college prospect check-in of the year, and I mostly have good news to report. It's so far, so good for just about everyone. The reasons why, so far, have been obvious. Points all around for Mark Jankowski, Brandon Hickey, and John Gilmour, which is pretty nice because, well, two of them are defensemen.