Flames trade down, take Mark Jankowski 21st overall

 

The Flames made a trade and made a pick during the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The circumstances of both weren’t without a bit of hand-wringing among Flames fandom.

With the clock ticking on their pick at 14th overall, the Flames pulled the trigger on a swap with the Buffalo Sabres. The Flames sent their first rounder to the Sabres for the pick Buffalo got for Paul Gaustad (21st overall) and a second rounder (42nd overall), essentially replacing the pick Calgary sent to Buffalo at last year’s draft. Feaster had previously mentioned that he wanted to attempt to get a second round pick.

Then the Flames went off the board when the time came, drafting centre Mark Jankowski. Jankowski was ranked 43rd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting and is a bit of a project. He’s 6-2 and 170 pounds, and plied his trade for Stanstead College, a prep school in Quebec. That said, he’s young (he turns 18 on September 13) and had very good offensive numbers in his league (94 points in 57 games).

LINEAGE

He’s also got a great hockey background. His great-uncle was the legendary Red Kelly, his grandfather played in the NHL and his uncle’s a scout. He’s ear-marked for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL next season (Johnny Gaudreau’s old team), and then likely headed to Providence College of the NCAA on a scholarship. Based on his status as a prep school player headed to the NCAA, he’s a longer-term project. But he’s got some tools.

Prospect guru Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus had this assessment of young Mr. Jankowski:

Playing in a pretty obscure league, Jankowski has impressed scouts I’ve talked to due to his significant growth physically and from a hockey development standpoint over the last year or two. Jankowski is an above-average skater who has a nice fluid look to his movements on top of good agility and top speed, although I should note that not every scout I talked to liked his skating. Jankowski’s best asset is his hockey sense, as he’s an aware, creative playmaker. He was checked tightly in games this year due to his skill level and the relative low talent level of his peers but he regularly executed above-average distributions and showed the ability to make plays in tight spaces. Jankowski tries to play physical, but despite good size he is not that effective in the physical game due to a significant lack of strength and a beanpole frame.

Jankowski has the puck skills and hockey sense to be a noticeable possession player but will need quite a few years of development time. He arguably has first round talent and could be a major sleeper, but due to the fact that I haven’t really seen him, I don’t feel comfortable putting him that high and this ranking is due to projection uncertainty as much as it is talent assessment.

In short: this could be a very shrewd pick or a bad one, and it’ll probably be a few years before we know either way.

  • BurningSensation

    I LOVE how Feaster works!

    Calgary has a history of taking guys like; Chucko, Pelech, Nemisz, etc., farmboy refrigerators who lacked skill.

    Feaster comes in and overturns the apple-cart, getting guys like Gaudreau and Baertschi – high value skill players who slipped in the draft because they were viewed as being flawed (too small).

    Yeah, Maata was the ‘safe’ pick. A probable second pairing defenseman with size and grit. Meat and potatoes.

    But Feaster doesn’t want ‘safe’, he wants a homerun. His scouts think they have one, and that the Flames can drop down in the draft and still get him – so we make the deal with Buffalo, and add a 2nd rnd pick, and still get the skill guy whose biggest problem is that he played in the ‘wrong’ league.

    Feaster got to take a swing for the fences AND he covers his bet by landing a 2nd rnd pick.

    LOVE this deal. It shows both intelligence and BALLS.

  • CitizenFlame

    Ok, starting to come around. He is apparently the youngest kid in the draft and only 2 days away from being a 2013 pick. This hopefully turns out to be a shrewd pick. There are no guarantees, but likely he would still have been available with 2nd pick. Curious now that the dust is settling, who will likely fall in the Calgary wheelhouse tomorrow. Probably an effort in futility given tonights proceedings. I think the Flames probably have another trade in the works too.

  • Skidplate

    Well, I dont know much about this kid. Good pick bad pick, who knows, this one is so far down the road before we can firmly say either way. Problem is, we need the youth quicker, we need the help now. I’d be oK with this pick if we traded a roster player for that 21st pick overall. Probably could have gotten LA’s pick or NJ pick & still got this kid. I think we needed to pick one of the gifts that dropped to us & taken Ceci or Girgensons. We need to use our older assets & get some NHL ready help for the Baerschte’s on a faster timeline. We have a tough road ahead of us.

    Ggg

  • Bikeit

    Flames did the same thing the year they drafted Derek Morris. 2nd round ranked player taken in the first round. Everyone was astonished and shook their heads. Well he turned out to be one of the better ones in the draft. Picking players higher than central scoutings rankings is appropriate sometimes.

    Tall kid with great puck skills and speed and lot’s of room to grow. Sign me up.

  • Franko J

    Let see how enamoured Feaster is with this pick. Last year after the draft didn’t Feaster immediately sign Baertschi? I wondering if he will do the same with Jankowski?

    @ T&A4Flames

    I’m not upset or complaining about the fact that Feaster is listening to his scouting staff a choosing a player that they are convinced will be very good player in a few years. What upsets me is that they didn’t get full value for trading down. Whether Jankowski pans out or not, I think there were better options maybe offers out there. Maybe after Pouliot was picked, this set the trade in motion.

    @ Burningsensation

    Got a second round pick that they gave up last year for Kotalik. Really gutsy. The guts would have been trade Regher straight up for Butler and maybe Byron. Buy out Kotalik, keep the second pick. Where is the intellectual honesty now?

    “We need to use our older assets & get some NHL ready help for the Baerschte’s on a faster timeline. We have a tough road ahead of us.”

    Couldn’t agree more Kevin R. Drafting Jankowski is a risky pick, but in reality you are correct. How does it help this team now. With this pick the road has become much more difficult.

    • BurningSensation

      @Fanco J:
      “Got a second round pick that they gave up last year for Kotalik. Really gutsy. The guts would have been trade Regher straight up for Butler and maybe Byron. Buy out Kotalik, keep the second pick. Where is the intellectual honesty now?”

      IMO Butler outplayed Regehr by a healthy margin this year, and is a better fit moving forward. Kotalik was a salary dump, that gave the team lots of flexibility, that I have zero problems with. What any of this has to do with intellectual honesty or taking Jankowski is beyond me.

  • I'm Just Sayin'

    The Flames have shied away from drafting this type of player since the early 90’s. We need high end skill and this kid seems to fit that description. If he’s 2 or 3 or even 4 years away, he will still be only 22!! Relax people, he is still growing and I think they made a great pick here.
    As far as the draft goes, it’s better to be lucky than good (see Detroit).

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I’m fine with the pick, just not at #21. Overall this looks like a very reckless pick. Either the Flames scouting staff are as good as their results from last year, or they have become over confident.

    I’m afraid that Feaster moved back for no other reason than wanting to make good on his assertion that he would able to get the 2nd rounder bsck, he gave away last year to Buffalo.

  • Skidplate

    Quote: Jeff Lebowski
    I wonder how many people, making comments one way or the other, have actually seen the kid play?

    So the ‘substance’ of your positions are based on conjecture.

    I’ll wait and “SEE”.

    ———————

    That’s part of the issue. Not many people saw him play because of where he played. The hockey people that did see him play had him ranked in the second round.

    Big gamble in my opinion. Would have been better taking Maatta at 21 and then making another trade with your second to move up a bit if you thought you needed to to get Jankowski.

  • Skidplate

    Skidplate

    “That’s part of the issue. Not many people saw him play because of where he played. The hockey people that did see him play had him ranked in the second round.”

    No, not true. At very least, the hockey people with the Flames had him as a first round talent, probably a top 10 talent. These picks have always been judged in years, not the day of/day after the draft. Could he end up a bust?…Sure. Might we end up looking back and proclaiming Button’s staff a bunch of geniuses?…Also a positive. Half of you all need to pop a Valium and wait and see what/who we pickup at #42. This scouting staff should have gained a little respect last year, cut them a little slack and lets enjoy day two of the 2012 Draft.

    Gussey

    “The one thing I hate is watching the rest of the leagues teams and fans laugh at us. How many negative tweets were there on the tsn coverage. It really is embarrassing. Take the best player Feaster. This totally smells like kris chucko to me.”

    Exactly how I felt after the Flames took Rico Fata. But, Bob Mckenzie started disrespecting that pick about 5 seconds after it was made. I get the feeling those in the “know” are not so surprised to see Jankowski picked in the later part of round one.

  • Teamsupreme

    I was reading some interviews with the feast and weisbrod, and they both said, without tipping the hand of the other teams, that if he hadn’t been picked by them, they knew another team that said they would have picked him. It’s not like it was the most insane pick, other people were also interested in this lanky forward.

  • Franko J

    @BurningSensation

    I agree going forward Butler is an upgrade over Regher – with exception to he has to learn to defend in front of the net without scoring in his own goal.
    What my argument is based upon is how does trading down really help this team? Short term or long term? Kotalik was a dud and dumping him I had no problem with either, but they gave up the 2nd round pick to dump him. Then Feaster moves down to get the pick back. I just think that by moving down seven spots you would have thought they would have got better value.

  • Bikeit

    Flames did the same thing the year they drafted Derek Morris. 2nd round ranked player taken in the first round. Everyone was astonished and shook their heads. Well he turned out to be one of the better ones in the draft. Picking players higher than central scoutings rankings is appropriate sometimes.

    Tall kid with great puck skills and speed and lot’s of room to grow. Sign me up.

  • Graham

    The more I see Feaster in action, the more convinced I am that we have the wrong man managing this club. Truly a missed opportunity…

    With our lack of quality prospects, we simply can not afford to pass on players like Ceci, Teravainen or Girgensons. All of these guys will be solid NHLers, ready in a couple of years. Jankowski is a huge gamble, will not be ready (if ever) for 4 or 5 years, and I’m sorry Feaster, their is little to no chance that this kid will be the best player in the draft ten years from now.

  • Graham

    Best player of this draft, ten years from now? Somewhat of an outrageous prediction. Just for fun
    the 21st overall pick from the 2002 nhl entry draft is Anton Babchuk, selected by Chicago.