Putting Mark Jankowski’s Performance In Context



The single biggest issue with the Mark Jankowsi selection by the Calgary Flames is the challenge of correctly putting his performance at Stanstead college in proper context. Both qualitatively and quantitatively: when viewing a player, his abilities are naturally gauged against those he is competing against – there are many all-star AHLers who are entirely ordinary in the NHL. Many high scoring juniors don’t make it as professionals in the AHL, etc. In short, the lesser the league, the easier it is to look like a star.

Quantitatively, because the better known feeder leagues like the OHL, the NCAA and pro leagues across the pond routinely send players to the NHL, it’s easier to see to what degree players retain their offense at the highest level and therefore estiamte roughly how much scoring is "worth" relative to the NHL.

Jankowski’s 93-points in 53-games for Stanstead college sounds impressive (1.61 point-per-game) but the Canadian HS prep league is obscure and the competition is minimal as compared to, say, major junior hockey or NCAA. In the Hockey New draft preview they ranked Jankowski 37th overall. One scout interviewed for the piece said "Could (Jankowski have played in major junior this year? Sure he could have…Would he been a star? Probably not."

Estimating NHL Equivalence

I decided to use this Prep school-to-CHL comparison to estimate Jankowski’s NHL equivalency, which as discussed frequently before is a method developed by Gabriel Desjardins for translating offense in various leagues to the NHL which allows us to compare numbers from across disparate divisions such as the CHL, NCAA and SEL. Essentially, we multiply a players point-per-game pace (PPG) by an established translation factor and then use that to calculate the estimated output over an 82-game NHL schedule. 

We know the translation factor for the CHL (0.30), so I used a range of estimated ratios to determine the Canadian prep school quality. Here are the results: 

Qual rel CHL PPG % of CHL translation factor NHLE
At 90% 1.63 0.9 0.27 36
At 75% 1.63 0.75 0.225 30
At 60% 1.63 0.6 0.18 24
At 50% 1.63 0.5 0.15 20
At 40% 1.63 0.4 0.12 16
At 30% 1.63 0.3 0.09 12


As you can see, the news gets bad pretty quickly. Things are encouraging if Jankowski’s HS league is about at least 60-75% as good as the CHL (which is a long shot). Anything below 50% and he falls to the high-to-mid teens. For context, Sven Baertschi’s NHLE in his draft season was about 32.

This is a rather clumsy, shotgun method of doing things I admit. Luckily Gabe Desjardins has looked at how highschoolers in Minnesota translate their offense to college and by, extension, to the NHL.

Initially, I looked mostly at leagues that sent players directly to the NHL, the idea being that we wanted to be able to make single year projections of minor-league and junior players. However, because it is derived from the performance of a large number of players, a League Equivalency is also a measure of League Difficulty. We can compare two leagues to one another either by looking at how players fare when they jump from one league to another, or how players from two different leagues fare in a third. More importantly, we can extrapolate to an NHL Equivalency, even for a league that doesn’t send anyone to the NHL.

Overall, Minnesota hockey translates to the NCAA (NHLE = 0.41) at approximately 0.18, giving an NHLE of 0.073. The translation to the USHL is 0.195; its translation to the NCAA is 0.65; the overall NHLE is 0.052. Via a similar process, the NHLE via the NAHL is also 0.052. This puts the difficulty level of Minnesota H.S. hockey somewhere between 5.2% and 7.3% – which is not very high: the leading scorer in Minnesota over the course of a decade might be good for 20 points as an 18-year-old rookie in the NHL.

 Emphasis added.

Minnesota HS is not precisely the same league, but it’s close enough for our purposes. As you can see, the level of competition relative to college and hockey and the NHL is minimal – even at the high-end, the translation factor is just 7.3%, which is below the 30% range I estimated for HS-to-CHL above.

First Round Forwards Comparison

Now that we have a translation factor for Jankowski, we can use it to put his output in context of the other forwards who were picked in the first round this year. This comparison, I think, will illustrate the level of risk the Flames took in selecting a player out of a second tier HS league with their first round pick.

Player PPG Translation NHLE
Nail Yakupov 1.64 0.3 40
Alex Galchenyuk* 1.22 0.3 30
Filip Forsberg** 0.4 0.39 13
Mikhail Grigorenko 1.44 0.3 35
Redek Faksa 1.06 0.3 26
Zemgus Girgensons 1.12 0.27 25
Tomas Hertl 0.66 0.61 33
Teuvo Tervainen 0.4 0.54 18
Thomas Wilson 0.55 0.3 14
Scott Lawton 0.82 0.3 20
Mark Jankowski 1.63 0.073 10
Brendan Gaunce 1 0.3 25
Henrik samuelsson 0.82 0.3 20
Stefan Matteau 0.69 0.3 17
Tanner Pearson*** 0.64 0.3 16

*Galchenyik was hurt all year, so I used his prior season to calculate his NHL

** As far as I know, there’s no NHLE for the SWE-2 league that Forsberg played. I estimated the translation factor based on the SEL’s ratio.

***Tanner Pearson was drafted as an over-ager this season, so I used his prior season in interest of a more apples-to-apples comparison.

The list is presented in the order they were picked.

Jankowski’s NHLE is the lowest of the first round forwards this year, even if we take the "best case" translation factor from Desjardin’s study. A couple of guys are within range – Stefan Matteau, Teuvo Tervainen, Thomas Wilson and Filip Forsberg. The caveat here is that with this sort of broad-brush method we’re essentially blind to things like ice time and role. Teens playing in mens leagues like Forsberg and Teravainen, for example, will typically have lesser ice time and roles than guys in the CHL or HS hockey and, as result, will get less opportunity to put up numbers. 


NHLE only describes a prospect’s current level of output and what it means relative to the NHL. What it obviously doesn’t tell us is how much better a kid is going to get. Some guys peak as teens while others guys (like Baertschi this past season) take giant leaps forward. A large portion of the scouting game isn’t merely describing a kid’s current skill level, but projecting it out 3-5 years down the line and beyond. 

The Flames must be at least dimly aware of the risks associated with scouting and picking a kid out of lower tier league. What they seem to be banking on is Jankowski’s youth (youngest player drafted in the first round) and steep improvement over the last year or so to continue apace as he moves up to higher leagues.

Weisbrod and Feaster not only raved about Jankowski’s raw skills at the draft this weekend, but also his hockey sense, intelligence and character. We can therefore assume it’s those factors they believe will allow him to adapt and excel in more difficult circumstances – like how a kid with a high IQ can be expected to maintain high grades as he works his way through school, rather than an average kid who aced one test because it was simply too easy for him.

It remains tobe seen which it is for Jankowski.

  • everton fc

    Even the description, the story, of how Jankowski was discovered…

    It’s seems so “rushed”…

    The pressure this kid will have, going forward, and how he responds… Will tell a lot. How unfair to put such pressure on a kid who hadn’t even received his high school diploma when picked.

    Wreckless comments and projections by the top brass here. Almost bush-league.

    The Sabres must be snickering a bit. And I, for one, still think a better GM would have parlayed more for Regehr at that time. Reagrdless of being saddled w/Kotalik.

    Just my opinion.

  • Stupendous Man

    @ everton
    you gotta love the story, can’t wait for the movie. blinding snowstorm then wham the chosen one is discovered. the spin doctors are reworking the dali llama selection.

  • RexLibris


    It seems we’re in sync again.

    I don’t have a problem with trading down, or even, necessarily, the pick. I do have a problem with putting your team in a position where you need to trade down in order to recoup your very own pick a year after the initial trade.

    Like you, I have a serious issue with the bluster here. When Feaster started prophesying about making the playoffs and finishing higher than the Oilers I, like many Oiler fans, was bemused/incensed/dismissive. But to start making claims like that of a player so young and taken so far off the beaten path that he likely hasn’t had to deal with the exposure and media attention associated with being a high prospect, just seems to echo irresponsibility.

    I think negrilcowboy has a good idea here. Start pitching the idea to Ken King and the Flames can film the whole thing here in Alberta. Daniel Ratcliffe could play Jankowski (we are talking chosen ones here, right), maybe Tom Cruise could be Weisbrod. Feaster could play himself, he is accomplished at delivering lines.

  • Reidja

    Everyone is freaking out about this pick… wait 5 years before you freak out folks.

    Can’t we freak out about the fact that our team is still built around two 36 year olds with a combined cap hit of $13MM? You want something to get mad about, get mad about that.

    Spare the kid, who I’m sure you have never seen play, of your wrath… please.

  • Sworkhard

    How does the beantown classic compare? I believe he played 13 games there and had a higher PPG in the classic than in his regular high school games despite the better competition. As far as I know a big part of the reason he ended up being ranked so high is due to his performance at the classic.

    Edit: I hate NHLe, especially when comparing with such a large difference in both quality of team and quality of opposition. Biggest reason is that for each level of competition difference, the standard deviation increases dramatically.

  • @Rex @Everton

    Yeah the comments made by Feaster are stupid, but guess what, he has to sell the kid, this risky a pick he has to sell to season ticket holders.

    As for getting more for Regehr, WHY? He wasn’t that great a defender when he was with us and after this year has shown, we wouldn’t have gotten half of what we did get if we held on to him and his cap hit. Right now everyone would be wondering if it would be okay to buy him out rather than play him if we held on to him. We got a bonafide NHL defender that can easily be a 3/4 guy and can play(though not great) minutes in a top pairing. As well we got a decent forward that could step into the NHL next season. Yeah losing that 2nd sucks but ownership was not going to want to keep paying for him to be in Abbotsford or overseas, while also paying for the likes of Hagman and whatever else. So as much as Feaster sucks for losing that 2nd, he was put into that position by even worse management by D. Sutter.

    As for Jankowski, the pick is fine, they drafted him earlier then they probably should, but it wasn’t like picking a 4th rounder in the first.

    We don’t have any information on his deployments, did most of his points come in the form of ES or PP points, something I think is more important, because I think schremp had a ton of points and based off his points his NHLE would have been high, but history shows where he eneded up. Also we don’t know the quality of the guys Jankowski played with or the Quality of Comp, was Jankowski on the best team in that league or was it the worst minus Jankowski.

    There is so little tangibale information that calling the kid a bust right now is some of the most stupid/ignorant comments people can make. He’s going to play in Dubuque this year, where we can get some tangible statistics and we get a lot closer look as to what his true potential may be. As the youngest kid of the draft, if he is putting up better numbers in Dubuque as the other guys who were drafted out of there this year, thats a good sign, if he gets his face beat in, well thats gonna be some serious egg on feasters face.

  • RexLibris


    I’m not calling Jankowski a bust. Not by any means. I’m just taking issue with what Feaster said after the pick. I realize that he has a product to sell, but he doesn’t need to sell the Flames so badly to a disinterested audience that it justifies such hyperbole.

    I’m glad you brought up Schremp because Prendergast did the same thing with a lot of Oiler prospects including Schremp. Everybody was the next Gretzky.

    Yesterday I made the point about the Regehr trade that I think Feaster ought to have asked for less rather and used Regehr’s value to cover the cost of dealing Kotalik. I think that would have been a far better long-term use of team assets than adding sweetener to a deal only to see a return of a two warm bodies instead of one.

    But as I have already written on FN, I think this comes down to a fundamental difference of perspective on the state of the team.

  • everton fc


    I, for one, never said the kid’s a bust. Any of the top-10 picks could be a bust. Ditto the next 10. And so on. Look at Daigle, Jessiman, as references…

    You do make good points about Schremp, and what type of deployments Jankowski was exposed to. VEry good point. It’d be more relevant if his competition was better.

    With Regehr, I still believe other GMs could have got more for him. I’ll leave it at that.

    We all hope this kid is everything Feaster’s selling. Most have their concerns. Legitimate, I think. I base mine on Feaster’s past. He’s not had the best advice in prior drafts with the Bolts. And last year’s draft, while encouraging, still has some question marks, outside Baertschi.

    I’ll say this; picking Brossoit in the 6th round might be the greatest steal this franchise has made in some time. So I, for one, am not entirely negative on our current regime.

    Simply suspect.

    And I’m still a little sore about losing Holland to the Habs. Especially since he’s a right-handed shot.

    But, hey, that’s me. I can be cynical.

    Probably genetics…

  • supra steve

    @ rex, i bet feaster and the gang spin the jankowski pick in that he was so young that he is actually a first round 2013 selection. wouldnt the big steal in the draft have been to unload an asset then slyly pull jank o gate with say a 25 pick or so while retaining the 12 pick. i highly suspect doug weisbo, and papa jank have a past.

  • T&A4Flames

    I was really hoping that they would get this kid, only in the 2nd round. But, I’m not upset that he was chosen at 21. Who was left? Gaunce? It just seems like another ceiling of a 2 way, more defensive minded center. The same old type of pick we have complained about for so long. Feaster, in my mind, delivered what most on this site have been asking for, a high potential forward and a centerman at that.

    People need to stop complaining about this pick. He has high potential but is a high risk, but enough of the safe picks. We need some homeruns and at the 14th spot, you either draft the safe, going to make the NHL but more likely as a bottom 6’r or #5,6 D, or that guy that is a high risk/potential type.

    Also, we aquired a 2nd rounder and he may turn out to be a top guy. Weber was a 2nd round pick in a D heavy (I believe) draft. We either picked a 1st line C or a bust. But at least it’s not the same old same old.

  • supra steve

    Could this be the worst draft choice in Calgary Flame history? I guess it’s possible, I doubt it. To take the belt Jankowski will have to defeat some stiff competition:

    Daniel Tkazuk #6 overall in ’97

    Rico Fata #6 overall in ’98

    Oleg Saprykin #11 overall in ’99

    Brent Krahn #9 overall in 2000

    Chris Chucko #24 overall in ’04

    My personal vote goes to Fata. You know your Flames have made a terrible mistake when Bob McKenzie starts ridiculing his selection immediately after it is made.

    I’m interested to see how Jankowski does with some better comp. and better linemates. If he has some skill guys to pass to, watch his assists outnumber his goals next year. Just trying to stay positive in the face of all this negativity.

  • T&A4Flames

    @ negril

    I believe he didn’t go the OHL route because in his CHL draft year, he was only 5’7″. He shot up 6-8″ in that span and was subsequently drafted the next year I believe. I don’t know why he has not since gone that route, though.

  • T&A4Flames

    Re: Feaster’s comments; I don’t have issue with that. You can choose to view his comments as negative or putting undo pressure on this kid. Or, you could look at it as the Flames brass really do believe in this kid and the comments will add confidence to Janko going forward. Maybe Feast was a little over the top with it, but at least he has passion about the player. Who knows what the make up of this kid is. I’ll gaurantee one thing, Feaster and his staff know it a whole lot better than us.

  • Derzie

    Ratings aside, elite players are generally elite at every level they play unless they get hurt or run into a bad coach/team. Even common sense says this pick is a pig in a poke. The equivalent of buying lottery ticket instead of a well touted stock or mutual fund. Too far into left field and the results are too far in the future.

  • everton fc

    believe it or not, I actually found something slightly encouraging. The only other player ever drafted directly from Canadian highschool was Colin Greening. A 7th rounder. don’t worry, I haven’t gotten to the point yet.

    Greening had a 1.31PPG in his draft year. In his first 106 NHL games (6/7 years later lol) he had a 0.47 PPG. That 7year translation factor is 0.62. Punch that into Janks’ stats (1.63PPG) and you come to 1PPG!!! so logically (lol), because of this shoddy math, we can conclude that Jankowski will be a point per game player in 6/7 years. If he works out.

    also interesting to note is, after being drafted, Greening headed for 1 year of BCHL (with modest production; 1.11PPG) before 4 years of NCAA (again, modest production; 0.86PPG). So, if Jankowski puts up really good USHL numbers (the USHL is a better league than BCHL) it will be a good sign.

  • T&A4Flames

    Was he not elite at the level he played? All be it a lower lever. His numbers would dictate it.

    Also, re: Seiloff. I have seen some mock drafts that had him as high as 20th overall. So even if one of these guys hit, the trade down may prove to be worth it.

  • everton fc

    A fair “skinny” on this kid (pun intended, of course!)


    And another.


    My last post on this kid. Here’s hoping all the upsides Weisbrod saw, and that others saw at the Beanpot Classic make this kid everything Weisbrod and Feaster see.

    As for Seiloff, he may be a good one. We shall see. Seems like a tough, gritty kid.

  • @Everton, other GMs might have gotten more for him, but they also had to deal with his NTC, and even with that Feaster got himself a decent return.

    And the level of competition has nothing to do with point splits and deployment, it doesn’t matter what the level of competition is, if you were deployed 80% in the Ozone and got 75% of your points on the PP something is going to go wrong. If Jankowski was around 50% Dzone starts and accumulated most of his points 5v5, that is a good thing going forward for his development. But if he couldn’t put up any points 5v5 in a High School league, when he starts moving on up, he is going to be in a world of trouble. Because it’s going to be a lot harder to get those PP points and he’s going to be worked a lot harder 5v5 and expose those weaknesses. If he’s already a superstar at 5v5 I think it’s something that can be built on and is a great base to start out.

  • Canucks Suck

    I know I rarely post or have anything relevant to say when I do haha, first off the nations coverage of this draft has been great esepcially FN. I was really sceptical of this at first thinking to myself WHAT THE F*** as soon as jay announced what league they were picking from. But the more I thought about it and heard about this kid the more I love the pick. It showed some real balls by feaster to go ahead and do it thats for sure. I wanted them to pick girgensons at 14 and I would have been satisfied. This kid is supposed to have top line potential as most of the other players around our pick were top 9 forwards if they made the NHL except for TT (but there had to be a reason he fell to where he did). This is the player the flames saw as the player with the highest potential not the one most likely to play in the NHL. The first round is a crap shoot too albeit with better odds so why not try to swing for a homerun. Weisbrod seemed content with trading the pick until he saw this kid, I really hope Jankowski pans out though he seems like a great kid.

    From the score blog you linked everton the reports on him seemed pretty impressive to me. From the sounds of it he needs to work on his strength and first step. Those sound like things as a result of a rapid growth spurt. His speed and skating is supposed to be good and I think thats something you can judge regardless of competition. If he can add some weight over the summer I think he can be a dominant player where ever he decides to play next year.

    If he decides on the OHL or USHL will he be at the prospects camp?

  • Canucks Suck

    Are we kind of SOL in finding out how many of his points were at ES?

    Also whatever happened to Todd? Did you ban him Kent, or did he just kind of screw off? I want his opinion on the Flames selection hahaha.

    • I'm Just Sayin'

      only 23.7% of scoring on the PP? That’s a very good number. Almost 77% at even strength/SH. Team leader in points by 30!! The number that really jumps out at me is the fact that he actually scored more SH goals than PP goals.

  • RKD

    It is a huge gamble, but I did find out Jeremy Roenick was drafted out of high school.

    Jankowski put up better numbers than Roenick in HS.
    Jankowski put up 73 and 94 points respectively. Roenick had totals of 65 and 84.

    I believe David Backes is another, again Jankowski had higher point totals than Backes.

    It is an uncommon route, but the scouts must believe he has a lot of upside.

  • I'm Just Sayin'

    Jankowski gp57 g53 a40 p93 +51 ppg7 ppa15 ppp22 gwg8 shg8 fo%69 pim34

    That is a ****ing fantastic stat line, if he can translate that to future leagues that is one hell of a #1 center.

    So he dominates the circle, plays the PP and PK and gets the majority of his points at 5v5. The only other stat I would like would be SH%.