Mark Jankowski’s First NCAA Season

 

PC #10 Mark Jankowski and BU #12 Yasin Cissé

 

Mark Jankowski had what could be called a middling freshman year in Providence in terms of production with just seven goals and 18 points in 34 games. I decided to take an in-depth look into his scoring last year to add some context to his counting numbers and to also get an idea about what we should expect from him next year.

How about we run through his scoring stats and see if there’s anything we can find out, shall we?

  G A PPG ShPG TS% PPP% PA% S%
Mark Jankowski 7 11 0.53 1.79 18.9% 27.8% 45.5% 11.5%

G/A/PPG: Goals, Assists and Points-Per-Game

Jankowski got a fair amount of playing time on the PP and was on the team’s top-2 lines the entire year. Providence was a low scoring team, yes, but Jankowski was given very favourable circumstances. I feel as though this is below-average for guys who are supposed to be high-end prospects. 11 of the 12 assists on his goals were by different players, with Tim Schaller being the only one to appear more than once. Of his assists on others goals, he assisted on 3 of Derek Army’s 13 goals, 2 of Ross Mauermann’s 12 goals, 2 of Nick Saracino’s 11 goals, 2 of Stefan Demopoulos’ 8 goals and 2 of Kevin Hart’s 3 goals. The spread of his points among different players suggests he wasn’t being carried by anyone but likewise he wasn’t carrying anyone. His PPG gives us an NHLE of 17.8.

TS%: Team Scoring Percentage

In the CHL, we’d like this number to be 35% or above for anyone who is expected to be a scorer at the next level. The NCAA is a tougher league and based on the age structure of the league we can lower that number a little. I’d say 25% is the minimum for top-end players in their freshman season (about 10 goals difference between the two when applied to Providence’s scoring) when taking into account where a freshman generally plays.

Unfortunately, Jankowski comes in under that 25% threshold (18.9%). In real terms, that’s about 7 more points we would’ve liked to have seen from Jankowski, whether they be bar-down snipes from the slot or assists coming off of pucks bouncing off his inner thigh (actually, snipes would be preferred).

PPP%: Power Play Points Percentage

The Friars scored 23 goals on the PP last year, and Jankowski contributed to 5 of those (1G, 4A). That’s an okay number, but Jankowski didn’t score enough to make it statistically significant. Still, it’s a positive that he wasn’t overly reliant on the man advantage to put up points. If he can increase his scoring next season by a measurable amount and still keep this percentage low it’s a good sign.

PA%: Primary Assist Percentage

Jankowski only had 11 assists this year, but the fact that 6 of those were secondary assists suggests he was a bit of a passenger on scoring plays (that or guys weren’t burying his feeds). I’m not putting too much stock into this, however – the difference between him being above 55% (which I consider to be the threshold for a good player) and where he’s at was one assist. If this trend continues into next year, though, then we have reason to be concerned.

ShPG/S%: Shots Per Game and Shooting Percentage

For me, these are the most worrying stats. Jankowski shot 11.5% last year, which is considered to be average to slightly above average at the NHL level, so it’s reasonable to assume at the NCAA level it’s around the average shooting percentage. We know that shooting percentage, at least in the NHL, doesn’t tend to rise by meaningful amounts over the course of a player’s career (unless his circumstances drastically change) – in fact, it actually drops. That said, we need several thousand shots to get a true idea of a skater’s true talent level in the show.

However, even if we throw out every other statistic because of the small sample size, the fact is he isn’t producing shots at a meaningful rate (1.8/game) and without sky-high luck he won’t improve his goal and point totals if he does not improve. For comparison, Johnny Gaudreau, who by all accounts should have had a tougher time adjusting to the NCAA than Jankowski given his size, averaged 2.8 shots per game in his freshman year at a similar age. In his sophomore season this year, Gaudreau hovered ar four shots per game.

For Jankowski, a one shot per game improvement or better is in order.

Conclusion

I’m willing to give Jankowski a little bit of a break here as most guys who just turned 18 aren’t playing at the NCAA level and the Friars were a low scoring team.

In saying that, though, Jankowski is big enough that playing in the NCAA shouldn’t have been that big of a jump if his perceived skill level is what it is. The bad news is, his stats are below-average almost across the board. If you recall Kent’s comparables article from last summer, he showed pretty much every current NHLer who rose through a tier-2 league and then college ranks scored at least at a 0.70 point-per-game pace in their freshman college season. Janko came in at 0.53. That is David Van Der Gulik (0.50) and Kris Chucko (0.49) territory. 

Taken all together, it’s obvious the former first rounder didn’t really clear any of the quantitative bars we set as markers for future NHLers, to say nothing of future NHL scorers. These sorts of yardsticks aren’t unerring signs of doom, but they certainly suggest the kid is a bit behind the curve currently.

I understand Jankowski was a project when drafted, but that shouldn’t preclude him from showing meaningful improvement year-over-year. In order to get where he needs to be, I’d like to see his shot totals jump to somewhere around 3 shots per game at the very least. Ideally, Janko will get up to at least .75 PPG as well, if not 1.0+. If he’s going to produce at the NHL level, he needs to be a notable scorer in college first.

The good news for Jankowski is he is relaatively young and he has an undeniable package of skills. The results weren’t there for him in his draft+1 season, but he still has time and opportunity to put things together and become a noteworthy prospect. If he takes a big step forward for Providence this year, it will be wasy to put his underwhelming rookie season in the rear view mirror.

Around the Nation

  • Reach Pics from obscure leagues:

    Mark Jankowski (Calgary 2012 1st rounder)
    6’3″ 175lbs
    Providence
    7G, 11A, 18pts, 10Pims

    Jujhar Khaira (Edmonton 2012 3rd rounder)
    6’3″ 195lbs
    Michigan Tech
    6G, 19A, 25pts, 49Pims

    Advantage Edmonton

  • TheRealPoc

    Looking at some of the names being thrown around here as to who Jankowski could’ve been replaced with, and I’m kinda surprised one name in particular hasn’t come up…

    If the Flames wanted a big, skillsy pivot in the 2012 first round, Tomas Hertl was available at 14th overall. Instead of Canadian high schoolers, he actually played against men in his draft year, and played well. All he’s done since is stake a claim as the best Czech player at last year’s Worlds (not WJC, but Worlds) and prepare himself to possibly make the jump into San Jose’s roster this season. But because Weisbrod got stuck in a blizzard in Quebec, we put on the blinders and took a home run cut instead.

    There will never be any adequate defense of the Jankowski pick, because it was beyond reckless, beyond irresponsible and beyond idiotic. And when he fails to pan out, it should toll the death knell for this entire front office and scouting staff.

  • BurningSensation

    So to recap;

    Jankowski;

    – added 6-8 inches of height in the last 16 months
    – jumped from a very poor league to a very good one
    – played on a crap offensive team
    – at a very young age
    – out of position
    – and put up disappointing numbers

    And we are supposed to read these tea leaves as something other than;

    ‘He needs at least another year of development’?

    12-13 was always going to be a freebie year for the kid, the hand wringing can stop.

  • MattyFranchise

    How is Maata doing so far? That was the pick that I was almost screaming for Feaster to make before he said Jankowski.

    As for MJ, I’m more interested in how he’s going to do in years 3 and 4 of college. If the Flames get a high 3rd/low 2nd line quality center out of him I will be thrilled.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Maatta is extremely meh. He improved from 32 points in 58 games to 38 points in 57 games. More importantly, his skating is still awkward as hell. I’ve always found him extremely underwhelming whenever I saw him.

      Enough people are high on him that I’m probably wrong, but I can only report what I see.

  • Michael

    personally I’d toss janko on the junk heap already. I mean really he’s had more than enough time to prove he’s gonna be an nhl super star. so let’s get rid of the garbage now while we can! I would take any other player that was selected in the first 3 rounds of that draft because obviously they will be better players…I can just tell by quickly looking at some stats and reading some blogs here and there.

    For all of you saying we should have taken so and so over janko I am just saying calm the hell down. In 5 years you can tell me who you would have taken. It’s pretty disgusting if you ask me that you are willing to throw a pick under the bus at his age.

    That being said, yes he has to improve but name me one prospect that doesn’t. Also yes he played out of position on a crap team on top of being a bean pole. So yes he needs to get more aggresive, that will come with confidence so relax and let the damn kid grow a little!

  • MattyFranchise

    Justin…other than numbers and stats do you have any information/examples around ….tenacity, skill set, chemistry with team mates, size of heart, focus on winning, toughness, hockey knowledge, ability to read the play, special team skills, etc etc??

    • Michael

      generally those manifest themselves in results.

      player a has better “tenacity, skill set, chemistry with team mates, size of heart, focus on winning, toughness, hockey knowledge, ability to read the play, special team skills” than player b. why would player b have better results than player a if he’s lacking all of that skill? the only way I can think of that he’d be better is if those things didn’t actually matter.

      so, to answer your question, if those things are apparent in jankowski’s game to the level that some think they are, they will show in the results. unless they don’t show in the results, and then they don’t matter.

  • BurningSensation

    The biggest problem with analyzing a prospect statistically is keeping the emotions out of it; Janko was a contentious pick and will likely never be afforded a dispassionate assessment.
    The kid is a teenager for crikey’s sake, I think it’s far too early to be sizing him up for the scrap heap, OR forming the pedestal for his elite status.
    A little moderation is in order methinks…..

    • MattyFranchise

      fact: most players that turn out to be elite display more than he did this season.

      is that, in and of itself, not reason to look deeper at his stats and reset expectations?

      i’m not saying write the kid off, i’m saying adjust expectations accordingly. if he lights it up next season, we’ll adjust expectations again.

      • MattyFranchise

        Not at all Justin, and don’t get me wrong here; I think that this was a fair and accurate assessment.
        One that can be made for probably 98per of the last three draft classes(i just made that number up!)
        My point wasn’t to denigrate your article, but to point out that statistical analysis is an evolving tool that needs to be reviewed in a certain light; it can be a powerful barometer of where an individual is at currently, but it hasn’t yet evolved to the point where it is a magic bullet, because, let’s face it, such a thing doesn’t exist.
        My point was more to the passionate, emotional response from McRibb than to your article.
        I think(hope!) that the future of GM administration league-wide will utilize statistical analysis incorporated with eyes-on personal assessment from scouts or someone in the organization for asset assessment.

        Well…..maybe not the Oilers, but, you know what I mean…?

  • McRib

    Jankowski will make the NHL (bairing injury etc.)

    -Invited to World Juniors camp
    -THN redraft indicated he has moved up in scouts eyes
    -He put on wieght and strength
    -He found openings in the slot in prospects camp and generally made high IQ reads.
    -Top 5 in scoring on his team, 6 behind leader
    -One of, if not, the youngest player in the league
    -Is same age as players drafted in 2013
    -Has a projectable frame with NHL speed so should play in some capacity

    This player was always a risk. But 2012 wasnt a very deep draft. There are only a handful of surefire prospects after examining from a year later.

    Ya Thomas Hertl probably would have been a solid pick, and I would be happy with it too.

    But I also really like the idea of Jankowski for what he stands for: A change in direction within the organization that shortcuts were no longer going to be the mandate.

    One thing I can say about Feaster is the man truey cares more about fixing this team in his image than doing the safe thing and trading picks for vets or making picks that would please the masses..

    • Didn’t the THN re-draft move him up, but to the point where he was still lower than what he was actually drafted?

      Ken King seems to be able to do amazing things, like buy an invite to the WJ camp. I’ll hold my breath on him making the team.

      • beloch

        lol Ken King had NOTHING to do with that invite. It had everything to do with the fact that one of the selection dudes was named Ryan Jankowski. AKA Jumbo Janks’ uncle.

    • MattyFranchise

      Where have you been? He spent the entirety of last season playing on the wing. That’s pretty much common knowledge by now.

      It has also been acknowledged that he’ll be playing center this year (likely because Tim Schaller graduated).

  • T&A4Flames

    Maybe we should all just look at Janko for what Feaster said about him, aside om the best player comment. He’s a project, Feaster said himself, 4 to 5 years. If he shows decent improvement over last year, great. If improves even more in year 3, awesome.

    It seems that even the PC coach is preparing him for what he believes what we all hope that Janko can be, a top player.

    Ok his #’s this year were under whelming, lets see how the long term project does next year.

  • jeremywilhelm

    I’ve taken my own shots at Pronman in the past, and he has no problem taking criticism. But you should know, and he states clearly, that he is not a scout, doesn’t claim to be one, and often says he doesn’t get to watch a tonne of games.

    He basically talks to and tries to compile information from real scouts that he can get into contact with. I don’t think he has ever claimed to be an insider nor does he make many of his own deliberations on players.

  • beloch

    PPG is an inherently flawed metric. If you double a players TOI and he has the stamina to handle it, you functionally double his ppg. Take Stajan for example. His ppg soared last season, but primarily because his TOI was nearly doubled! He’s still the same ol’ mediocrity he’s always been. Points or shots per 60min TOI would be far better metrics but, unfortunately, most minor leagues don’t track TOI, let alone zone starts or quality of competition!

    Good players in the NHL do get more TOI. Players undergoing growth-spurts who have messed up muscle-to-bone ratios (I’m not even talking about co-ordination here!) tend to have lower stamina and may tire more quickly, leading to less TOI. Players battling injuries get less TOI. Players who the coach just doesn’t like get less TOI. Dumb coaches working in the minors might not spot talent when they see it and give TOI to the best players. Without knowing what kind of TOI Janko has been getting we really can’t conclude much from his low ppg.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am neither suggesting that Janko is the next superstar or the next big fat failure. I’m just saying that we have no idea yet. 34 games would constitute an insufficient sample size even if we had quality stats for those 34 games, and we don’t!

  • @ Justin

    I really appreciate the work you guys do to fill this site with so much content for us Flames nuts but I think this is an article that could have waited a year or two when there would be more data… I don’t think it is very informative at this point

    The arguements for and against the Jankowski pick at this point are futile… although the people who are very critical may have to eat their words.

    Janks is still a kid and should be allowed to grow up and fill out before he is rushed to judgement. I think he is very skilled… of course so was a guy named Oleg Saprykin who could never put it all together.

    Point being there are higher picks that bust all the time so based on odds alone there is a good chance Janks will be a bust when all said and done – just as any other player we could have drafted. But I think what people are missing is that Feaster tried to use this pick to net us a top line center rather than take the safe pick that would probably turn into a 2nd/3rd liner. I am in support of this type of picking players that have a high upside – Johnny Gaudreau – when drafting in the mid first round it is a crap shoot anyway might as well swing for the fences as the safe picks dont always turn out either.

    I have said it before and I will say it again… it is not news… this team needs top line elite talent.. we have the 2nd line guys… we have the 3rd line guys… Feaster is trying to address that. Even if Janks doesn’t make the NHL I won’t be super critical of Feaster… lots of first line guys don’t make it… of course if Janks doesn’t make it all the critics will use their hindsight 20/20 to say we should have picked this guy or that guy…

    • SmellOfVictory

      Touche…

      But I am not saying he is going to be an NHLer… I am admitting that I do not know… the critics who are saying he is not going to make it… well you could say that about a lot of prospects drafted in the first round and be right…

      At least I admit that which I do not know rather than pretend as though I do.