Flames Top 15 Prospects 2013: #15 Mark Jankowski

This ranking probably comes as a surprise to many fans given Jankowski’s profile in the Flames organization after being picked 21st overall in the 2012 draft. Like most first rounders immediately after they are chosen, Janko is considered in many circles to be a top prospect for the Flames, but the truth is his draft+1 year was rather underwhelming; to the degree that it’s clear Jankowski is long ways off from contributing at the NHL level, assuming he makes it at all.

  Justin Ryan Kent Hayley BoL
Jankowski 14 12 14 NR NR

With just 7 goals and 18 points in 34 games as a freshman for Providence College, Jankowski finished the year with an NHL equivalence of just 18, which is way outside the domain of most future impact players even in their draft years, nevermind their draft+1 seasons.

When I looked at the young man’s comparables in November, the threshold for most future NHLers who went the tier 2 hockey/college route college seemed to be about 0.7 points-per-game in the year after they were drafted. 

Janko settled in at 0.53 this season.

Only two guys from the group I examined in the comparables article managed less than a 0.68 PPG pace and became NHLers down the line: Tanner Glass and David Jones. Meaning the precedents for Jankowski aren’t really there given his output. If he does indeed develop into a pro scorer down the road, he’ll be an extreme outlier in just about every way imaginable. 

That said, there are reasons to like the player and give him the benefit of the doubt for now. There’s no denying he has a decent package of skills with smooth skating, a long reach and soft hands. He is also very young, one of the youngest of his draft class, and skipped a step by going directly into college hockey as a 17/18 year old. In addition, Providence was one of the lowest scoring teams in Hockey East this year (the leam leader scored 24 points in 38 games), which makes it tough for a freshman to run up the numbers.

Conclusion

Jankowski was considered a project pick with high bust potential when the Flames chose him last year and that’s what he remains today. He played in tough circumstances for such a young guy in college this year and survived, but his output doesn’t suggest he’s going to jump the queue either. Jankowski’s results are going to have to take a very real step forward next season for him to be considered a legitimate offensive prospect in the organization and even then we’re probably looking at a full 4-year development period in college before he ever challenges a pro roster.

The ranking is a reflection of his just okay numbers and high bust risk, but also his potential for eventually becoming something of worth. You can count on one finger the number of other forwards in the Flames top-15 ranking who have similarly marginal offensive output as prospects (NHLE’s below 20) and that guy is much closer to making the show (try to guess who it is!).

I suspect Janko will go one of two ways in this ranking next season: either he’ll make a big jump forward or will be bumped off completely.

Flames top 15 prospects

Top-15 Series Introduction

StreakCred

Don’t forget to play StreakCred, the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. You can win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany among the awesome prizes up for grabs. Only $20 and a portion of the proceeds go to Edmonton Charities.

Sign up here.

  • Truculence

    You wanna know something funny? If the Flames end up drafting Monahan, Mantha, or Hartman, Djanko unchained will only be a month or less older than them. Mantha, I believe, was born Sept. 16!

  • piscera.infada

    One thing I’ve been pondering lately as well is a lot of the comments about “going for the home run or bust vs a 3rd liner” type comments.

    On the whole, I tend to agree. If it’s a consensus among team scouts that player X will play, but never beyond the 3rd line or 3rd pairing, than I agree, to take player X in the 1st round is a waste of a 1st round pick.

    On the other hand, there’s degrees to everything. Would you rather have a great 2nd line player or a guy who never plays at all? The answer is obvious.

    My point, to use the baseball analogy, is that you aren’t going to swing for the fences on every pitch. Every good pitch, sure, but when you see the ball is high and wide you let it go.

    Look at past draft choices like Jason Bonsignore, Steve Kelly, Rico Fata and Daniel Tkatzchuk. All off these players were not just 1st round consensus picks, but first half of the 1st round consensus picks. Janko was a consensus 2nd round pick.

    Now that’s not to knock Janko and yes,the scouts and the so-called ‘consensus’ can be wrong as well.

    I also think that even if Calgary had just hit a home run once every 5 years over the past 15 years, that would have been 3 more superstars added to the roster.

    I’m just saying that there’s a line there between “the consensus is wrong and we really believe in this other guy so we’re going off the board” and wasting a pick on a pipe dream over a close to sure bet to at least play because the management team can’t see past its own ego.

    The most dangerous thing in scouting is to judge a player based on 1 or 2 viewings that can cause you to either become enamored with or hate the player you’re seeing.

    A bit of a ramble, forgive me. And again, not directed at the Janko pick per se, though it’s the impetus of this whole discussion, but more at comments I’ve seen in general.

    • Jeff Lebowski

      What strikes me in this entire debate of prospects is, it’s not really about quantifying where the prospects are. It’s mostly to repudiate the Feaster/Wisebrod regime.

      There is this rigorous analysis that have a caveat of many factors that could impact. Essentially we don’t have all the data but we’ll confirm our previously held bias (rooted not in the player-but in the team that selected him) based on this loosely relevant metric given this specific players length of development time (We all knew he was a long term project – but his short term development sucks so let’s all agree he’s most likely a bust and another reason to pillor Feaster.)

      The smartest guy in the room argument is being assessed by people who think they’re smarter than Feaster- perhaps it’s based on consensus which have already been proven to have many instances of being wrong. The consensus is right with TT but wrong with Fata etc? What is this?

      I mean what are people upset about? Janko is project and he could be good, or I hate Feaster?

      Just come out and say it rather than dump on his picks who by any reasonable assessment should be given time.

      I’m speaking in the general and not specifically you with the come out and say it part.

      I could be very wrong about NHLE (i’m not versed in it) however it seems with Janko and his longer term development (and his unique predicament-age, team, late physical development) the rankings are used to justify the end not of him but of Feaster. That’s what I see anyway.

      The Feaster sucks debate is an entirely different debate than let’s rank the prospects. Why not have both in seperate arenas rather than conflagrate them in one.

      • please cancel acct

        I agree with what you’re saying.

        My original Feaster remark was, admittedly, an off the cuff remark at him, but the point I was making seems to be essentially the exact same you’re making, just perhaps in reverse. So maybe I’m the hypocrite then.

        But I wasn’t really trying to ‘attack’ Feaster there (just some sarcasm), rather address the issue of home bias.

        TT, Girgensons and others are just examples. It will be a few years before anyone can really say anything, but one can’t justifiably point out every negative on other team’s players while simply dismssing their own player’s as “well, we all knew he was a project.”

        Certainly, after the fact, it’s easy to go down the list and say “they didn’t take that guy so they are smart,” or “they missed that guy so they’re dumb.”

        As for the Fata thing, I don’t quite follow your point, but I can ramble so I understand if I wasn’t clear. That was a different conversation altogether. I was trying to demonstrate the pros/cons of always going for the ‘home run’ and what exactly it is people even mean by that.

      • please cancel acct

        One last point – the smartest guy thing, at least for me, speaks to Feaster’s mental moronics whenever a microphone is placed in front of him. I hate his arrogance and bluster and the statemens he makes regarding his moves. Which, to me, makes him fair game for those types of comments – because he portrays himself that way.

        It’s not about anyone here being smarter than Feaster either, it’s about wanting to have the ebst hockey person available to run the club and Feaster, IMO, isn’t it.

        • please cancel acct

          Hiring Weisbrod and Conroy as assistant GM’S suggest,s to me that Feaster is aware that his hockey IQ is not elite.Arrogance and bluster however are synomynous with American lawyer’s

          • McRib

            Hiring John Weisbrod was a brilliant move in my opinion on Feaster’s end, as he recognized with Tampa Bay that he was unable to draft and develop talent (Pavel Kubina was only player on 2004 Cup Team that he drafted).

            Some might not agree with the Iginla/Bouwmeester trades, as we failed to get any “Top Prospects” but his cards were forced and John Weisbrod still managed to get decent return with under the radar prospects. I think most at this time would agree. Weisbrod makes Feaster much more relevant for me and Conroy is just a beaut that franchises need to keep around!!

  • thymebalm

    I honestly don’t think anyone here actually watches him play. I’m going to assume this ranking is purely blind and based on stats. The kid looks great and had “5 solid grade a scoring chances a game” playing on an awful team and just needed some breaks. He’s a year younger than most and would be drafted this year. He’s looked great and has lots of potential. He’s in the top 5

  • McRib

    I’m someone that usually discounts the THN, TSN or HFs rankings… but they ALL had Jankowski in their Top. 5 Flames Prospects because unlike people at Flames Nation they have ACTUALLY SEEN HIM PLAY THIS YEAR!!!If NHLE figures were accurate Daniel Tkaczuk would have played with Iggy for a decade!!

    Mark Jankowski is easily in my Top. 3 Flames Prospects!! Because I completely disagree with the fact that this kid is ever going to be a bust…. Because how does a 6’3″ – 215 lbs power forward that has soft hands, a big reach, above average Hockey IQ, a quick release and a smooth stride.. bust??? Just don’t see it at all, not going to happen. Point Totals are going to rise in college as quick as his weight gain.

    Worst-case he becomes a Dustin Penner, best case Ryan Getzlaf… Speaking of Dustin Penner, has anyone ever considered him as a comparable for NHLE… Considering he was playing Division III NCAA Hockey at 20. Big Forwards take much longer to develop, Plain & Simple!! Also Ryan Getzlaf never scored more than 75 Points in Junior and has had 91 and 82 point seasons in the NHL. Late Blooming Power Forwards are when you throw the NHLEs out the window not completely base everything on it!!

    This ranking is going to look very foolish next year once Jankwoski gains some size and starts dominating like everyone who watches him every day says. He is going to be playing on Canadian World Junior Teams and going to Hockey East Finals from what people are saying on my end, he’s in for a big year next season and put up just as many points as a more developed Chris Kreider did his first season in NCAA.

    • icedawg_42

      I’m not sure if this works with or against your argument, but having watched Getzlaf in the dome for his entire junior career, I can safely say that he was a man among boys in the WHL. I don’t think there was ever much doubt he’d be an impact NHL’er.

      I must say, though I feel the drafting has improved for the organization, i’m not close to being sold on a single prospect not currently playing on the big team.