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.

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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.

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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.


  • Emir

    I liked Teravainen and was hoping they were going to pick him. I didn’t like the trade down and when I saw they went for Jankowski I lost my mind and left.

    Like seriously, we had the 42nd pick and this guy was ranked at 43rd. WTF was going on, we could have got Maata still at that point and it would have looked good.

    So i’m driving and listening to the FAN and I hear a bit more about him. Super early birthday, sept 13. The kid has grown 6 inches in the last 2 years. This is extremely significant because teens have their growth spurt typically from 14-15. In this case we are looking at 15-17 which is unusual but not out of the ordinary. Long story short, its all good signs in terms of physical development.

    The downside i’m still staring at is he put up points in an easy league.

    So while I have less to be mad about its a high risk high reward move. If it fails, well the whole org looks like complete idiots. At least we can say that Jay trusts his scouts no matter how nutty they may be. We will talk about this pick for years to come.

  • Franko J

    Earlier this week I heard his name bantered around and plenty of whispers about being a sleeper player. I just think Feaster could have down better with the trade. It is not that I cared they moved down, but IMO I think the Flames could have got better value for moving down.
    Missing out on Ceci, and Girgensons I think will haunt this team in the decade. Remember Kidd for Brodeur? Well I think this trade down is a major letdown.

  • Emir

    On another note, the FAN was talking about some “serious money” put into the flames scouting system. Kent is there some sort of super computer for this??? I’m just wonder what does serious $$$ get in scouting. I always thought it was a people as the key type of business.

  • Graham

    I just don’t know what to say. I like this move because it is a very aggressive move that says that the Flames will stick to their list no matter what. But I think the reasons why I don’t like this move sort of outweigh the reasons why I like this move. First of all, we had the 14th overall pick. I believe we could’ve taken Teuvo Teravainen, somebody who will likely hit the NHL sooner and is less of a dark horse. Second, we could have bolstered our defense with the addition of Ceci, or Maatta. When we traded down, I thought, okay Feaster probably knows what he’s doing. Maatta came along once more, and it seemed like Feaster had played this draft perfectly. Drop to pick up Maatta and then we could a solid middle of the pack pick in the second round. And then he picks Jankowski. I’m not saying the kid won’t be good. I just think that we should have picked somebody who will have more of an immediate impact such as Teravainen or Ceci or Maatta. What happens happens. If Feaster and Staff can do what they did last yeaer, but this time with more picks, maybe this draft will turn out okay.

  • Truculence

    This is Tod Button`s pick all the way. His brother on TSN has been harping about this kid all year (14th on his list) and I am positive he told his brother to take a gamble with the kid. However, Craig also had Teuvo ranked fifth, so I don`t quite know the reasons behind Wesibrod and Tod Button`s decision to forego the Finn. Maybe Weisbrod raised objections over size and grit.

    This pick will be remembered for a long time in Calgary, though -be it in a good or bad way.

  • Franko J

    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.

  • RKD

    Feaster got back the 2nd pick he surrendered in the trade last year, there was no Baertschi calibre like player for Calgary at 14.

    This team is still setting up for a few years down the road. In a few more years, all these prospects we keep writing about will hopefully turn in NHL regulars for the Flames.

    Games against the Oilers are going to get a lot harder, now they have to stop Yakupov, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle. Eek.

  • Franko J

    Crazy day eh gents? This is the draft for ya, a bunch of crazy. Everyone here’s pretty much covered it, either an awesome pick or a horrawful pick. We won’t find out for probably at least 4-5 years.

    BTW, is there a live chat tomorrow?

  • 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”.

  • Franko J

    There is no doubt that the Flames pick of Jankowski was not anticipated.

    That said, with the unpredictable nature of the first round overall, I think the best move they made was to trade down, retaining a first rounder and picking up a second rounder. Watching the talking heads and trying to patch together what they were saying with my own observations of the WHL players primarily and gauging them against those that I saw at the WJHC, anything after the top 3 selections is essentially a crap shoot anyway.

    That said, my point is that having a larger number of picks in a draft that is overall lower in quality might just reward you with a diamond in the rough. And that is what the Flames need, someone to come out of the proverbial woodwork and surprise.

    Jankowski could be that surprise, in about 3 or 4 seasons. And that is the disappointing side of it. But, then again, maybe Brossoit will be such an eye opener from last years draft. And Brodie was taken in the fourth round. So maybe this crew of scouts does have some ability.

    I will wait and measure the Flames draft by seeing who they are able to corral in all seven rounds.

  • Reg Dunlop

    @maimster

    Being ranked 43 is no guarantee the player will be available at 42… this player would still be available after the draft if not for Feaster. It isn’t laughter you hear from up the QE2, it’s shock and disappointment that flame mgmt is so obviously tanking next year for MacKinnon. Well, the oil will give you a real race for the bottom. If Yak rides his stick after a goal against the flames I hope appropriate action is taken.

  • CitizenFlame

    Depending on who they take with the 2nd, I think it weird that player may likely project to be in the NHL sooner than their 1st. Can’t say I love this pick, but I don’t know much about Jankowski. I know that I know a lot less than the Flames scouts about these players. They can make it up to me by picking Frk tomorrow. There is no way that Collberg or Aberg fall to 42nd (then again who saw Jankowski at 21?)I really liked Girgenson… I’m drinking now. Ok, I can’t hide it, I just don’t like this pick at all! Trading down to get two project players instead of getting a bonafide prospect. Its risky all right.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.