FlamesNation chats with Mark Jankowski



FlamesNation’s roving reporter Ryan Pike has been down at development camp all week, checking out the next wave of future Flames. He had the chance to chat with 2012 first round pick Mark Jankowski about the camp, the draft and his future. 

Ryan Pike: Considering where you were ranked by a lot of scouting services, were you flattered that the Flames took you as high in the first round (21st overall) as you went and went after you so hard?

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Mark Jankowski: Yeah, definitely. The Flames, their GM and their whole organization, they really had that confidence in me, so that gives me some confidence, too. They really believe that I can be a great player down the road, and I know that, so I’m really happy that they’re the ones that picked me and they have that confidence in me.

RP: Have you thought about where you’re going to play next season or what you’ll take when you eventually get to college?

MJ: I’m still weighing that decision a little bit. I’m leaning towards Dubuque in the USHL, but I’m still not exactly sure of the decision yet. When I go to school I’ll probably take some sort of business, I haven’t picked my decision yet but that’s probably what I’m going to do.

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RP: With so many veterans of both the USHL and NCAA at this camp, have you talked to many of them about what to expect in the two leagues?

MJ: Tim Schaller’s my roommate and he’s the captain at Providence. I really talk to him a lot about what Providence is like when I’m lodging with him. Also Jon Gillies the goalie, he’s going to Providence and he was telling me what the USHL is like. I’ve really got it from both perspectives, USHL and college. I’m really fortunate to have these guys here to talk to.

RP: Do you feel any added pressure to perform now that you’re a first round draft pick?

MJ: I really don’t try to listen to my name in media at all. I don’t really try to pay attention to that. But people are Tweeting at me, saying ‘Welcome to the Flames’ and it’s just a great feeling. It’s a great organization, great fans, and I’m really excited to be in Calgary.


    I was at the development camp today and from what I saw from Jankoski really impressed me. He has sweet hand and is a really great skater. He has all the tools to be a successful NHLer! He just has to fill out a bit. Great pick Feaster, great pick!!

    Grandlund and Gaudreau put on a show on the last shootout drill, but Gillies held his own as well.

    Overall great experience and am looking forward to attending these development camps on a more regular basis in the future.

  • Were you limited in what you were allowed to ask him. I just feel that the interview is a little short or something, maybe asking about his level of competition and not playing the OHL and all that. Or maybe how he feels about Feasters “best player in 10 years” comment.

  • OptimusFlame

    Just for the record “best player in 10 years” in reference to the 2012 draft was not Feaster’s comment. He was reiterating what John Weisbrod had told him when scouting Jankowski. Quite a few people are crediting the above statement to Feaster, when in his interview on draft day on TSN he clearly stated that John Weisbrod said this to him during a phone call while watching “The Big Jankowski” play.

  • “The Big Jankowski” – I love it. Hopefully he sticks around long enough for it to become a nickname of love, and not alcohol-fueled hatred as he bungles everything up and leads us to several #10-15 picks.

    I find it interesting that he only said “GM” and didn’t name Feaster specifically. Maybe he doesn’t know it yet?

    Overall, the kid gave some pretty vanilla answers. Nothing of substance and he seems to just be giving the “yeah, I’m excited to be here, we’re going to be awesome, I’m excited to be here” lines that are expected. Some of that is probably fear when he’s being interviewed by people 10-20 years older than him, heaping expectations on him well before he’s even had a chance to graduate high school.

  • In three years of covering the Flames and their players, I’ve never once been asked TO (or to NOT) ask a particular question. The amount of time given to speak to a player is the main common restriction, but I’ve always had enough time to ask the questions I wanted to ask.

    The format for the interviews is a series of rapid-fire 1-on-1s following practices, so the guys are [a] exhausted and [b] doing a lot of these back-to-back.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    I’m hoping someone can answer this question if you’ve been to a few of these development camps:

    Is there a noticeable increase in the skill level compared to past years?

    Although it might seem obvious that Feaster has stated he wanted more skill, Darryl did draft Brodie, Backlund, Howse, Niemisz etc.

    Has Feaster’s regime drafted better talent and more of it?

    • It’s hard to say. Baertschi looks like the best forward to come along in awhile, but there’s always been a couple of guys stick out at these things when I saw them in the past. It’s a long road from here to proving you’re a legit talent at the pro or NHL level.

  • If I were to phrase it, I’d say that the Flames have a great deal more multi-dimensional players than they had in previous years. Back in days of yore, their prospects were good at only one or two things and that limited their usefulness to the club in the long-term.

  • I’ve been to the camp 3 days, Monday Tuesday and Thursday. Monday, I was a little worried about having wasted this years first round pick, Tuesday less worried, Thursday excited. I think he actually looks like the best player (certainly not in an all-around sense, but talent wise) here. He is by quite a margin the youngest player here, and I think that bodes very well for his future. I’m VERY interested to see a year from now, had his mother struggled in labour a little longer, where he would have fit into next year’s draft class. That’s where I had the toughest time rating these guys; sure, Brady Lamb and Tim Schaller stood out, but it’s very difficult to say how they’d look competing against men.

  • wtm97

    No better place for Mark Jankowski to toughen up and develop than at Providence College and Hockey easty! He can join Jon Gillie and FlamesNation will be the beneficiaries in the long run with these tow high quality young men.