2014 Development Camp: Mark Jankowski

Remember Mark Jankowski?

The centerman was drafted by the Flames in the first round of the 2012 Draft, but both the general manager and assistant general manager that took him are gone from the organization now. For his part, Jankowski seems unphased. Speaking with the media during development camp, he spoke about expectations for his Providence College Friars club and the 12-man freshman class he joined the team with in 2012-13 (including fellow Flames picks Jon Gillies and John Gilmour) – they’d love to win a championship before they finish their collegiate careers.

You may not have the flashy offensive numbers that guys like Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold have, but you’ve emerged as one of Hockey East’s better face-off threats. Has that changed how you’ve been used at Providence College?

One of my big focuses was to be a really good two-way player, so I want to be relied on in all situations. So if there’s a face-off in our end and we’re protecting a one-goal lead with 10 seconds left, I know our coach has faith in me to go out and win that draw. He put me in a lot of situations. Protecting a lead, trying to get that one goal at the end of the game, penalty kill, power play, I just want to be used in every situation and just help the team in any way possible.

You’re heading into your junior year at Providence College. Are you looking forward to having an expanded role and being one of the older guys on the team?

Yeah, you know, it’s pretty good. We’ve got a really good team. Like I said, we only lose three guys, so we have a big chunk of the players back. I’m sure that me and some of the other guys will be relied on pretty heavily. That’s exactly what you want. You want to be relied on in those key situations to help the team wherever you can.

Is your focus on getting ready to be a pro as soon as you can, or just about improving where you can every day?

It’s more getting a little better every day. Physically I want to get, like I said, a little stronger, because you don’t want to rush anything, because that’s when injuries start to happen pretty seriously, when you try to go too fast, too big, too quickly. I’ve been getting a little bigger, stronger every day and that’s been my mentality.

  • I don’t exactly see Janko turning into an offensive threat like Monny or Gaudreau might, but I see him having use as a Yanic Perreault-type guy who takes faceoffs, scores the odd point, and has good possesion stats.

  • A very high risk pick but I’m not one to panic as he’s a big, lanky kid that needs to grow into his body and that takes time. Will he be what Flames management envisioned as a first round draft pick? Unlikely. But I for one won’t throw him under he bus and will wait to make my decision in three or four more years. He might just surprise some people.

    • Rockmorton65

      Exactly. Another thing to consider is we don’t NEED him to become an elite first line center. We have Monahan, Bennett, Backlund and quite possibly a McDavid/Eichel. Even if he only tops out as a good second line or very good/elite third liner, we’ll be laughing. He can take all the time he needs right now. He needs to make progress, yes, but there’s no rush. It would be an embarrassment of riches if, in 2-3 years time, we have Monahan, Eichel, Bennett, Backlund, Stajan, Jankowski, Reinhart and Knight all capable of playing top 9 minutes.

  • FeyWest

    I think he projects as being a better/equal Daymond Langkow unless as long as his offense develops more, which I think it will at some point, he at least has all the raw skills.

    It’ll be all about polishing and refining those skills and think we’ll see more once he reaches the AHL level. I think Huska will be a key reason for this. Fingers crossed!

    • Langkow was a 5th overall pick and scored 140 points in his draft year. He also managed 50+ points in 8 consecutive seasons in the NHL and 7 20+ goal seasons. On top of all this, he was one of the most under appreciated two-way centres/possession forwards in the league for years.

      If Janko turns out to be equal to Daymond Langkow, I’ll track down Jay Feaster and kiss him on the mouth.

      • SmellOfVictory

        I was rooting for Janko before, but with these new stakes added, my support has doubled.

        In fairness on the Langks/Janks comparison: they were vastly different players at young ages; Langkow went a very standard development route and didn’t have the physical stuff to deal with that Jankowski has. For god’s sake, even after putting on 15 lbs he’s still only like 190 at 6’4. There’s not a lot of muscle mass there.

      • FeyWest

        All I’m saying is I have high expectations for Janko, not slagging Langkow in anyway as he was a favorite of mine when he was with us, one of my reasons the Flames and Iggy were as good as they were in the years after the ’04 run, it was unfortunate he had such a severe injury….

        If my previous post came off as that way sorry, it wasn’t intended to be. Tough crowd D:

        One word misuse and it all falls off the rails 🙁 had to give myself a “trash” for it too

    • Just so we’re clear Daymond Langkow had 230 points in his last 120 WHL games…. so that would mean Jankowski takes a giant leap every year consecutively for the next 4 or 5 years in order to get there.

      Langkow was really, really good.

  • Derzie

    Assuming we didn’t pick a son of a friend in the first round, where would he be ranked in this past draft. Lower? Higher, same? My sense without checking detailed stats is lower.

      • RexLibris

        That would be a fair comparable. I remember looking at the two in their draft +1 years, when Khaira was in college, and the numbers suggested they were in an approximate range.

        Khaira played last season in the WHL under Kevin Constantine and while his offense wasn’t spectacular, he showed well in the ES IPP rating, so I suspect some of this was due to deployment and Constantine’s defensive schemes.

        Unfortunately for Jankowski, rather than be compared to Khaira, he will likely be tied to other players like Teravainen and Maatta, whom the Flames passed over at the time.

        I suspect the best thing to happen to Jankowski was the 2013 addition of Sean Monahan. It probably relieved a great deal of pressure.

        I have Jankowski pegged as an eventual 3rd line winger if/when he makes the NHL. Maybe he transitions to a C, but I suspect a lot is going to ride on his possession game, information of which we don’t yet have.

        • McRib

          I like the Jujhar Khaira comparable as well for Mark Jankowski. To be honest I actually expected more out of Khaira offensively this season in Everett, but watching him a couple of times last year Kevin Constantine had an impact for certain. Mark Jankowski is also playing under a very defensive minded coach (Nate Leaman) at Providence.

          Which I think is a positive for both of these prospects as they likely project as big 3rd line forwards at the NHL level that will rely on a two-way possesion game, like you said. However, I do think both may have a bit more in the tank going forward offensively depending on where AHL/NHL coaches go with their games development, as I think both have plus stickhandling for size. Watching these two they both definately have much more offensive potential/puck skills than for example a Colton Gillies a few years back. I guess what I am trying to say is Khaira/Jankowski both pass the eye test for me when watching them play, as they do likeable things with the puck despite “average numbers”, whereas a Colton Gillies just left me shaking my head as to how he went 16th (stone hands). Western Canada has had its fair share of “big upside forwads” turn into busts, but these two have something different for me.

          Let’s face it outside of Stan Butler in North Bay, Kevin Constantine & Nate Leaman are as defensive minded as they come in the NCAA/CHL. If these two were playing for a Portland and Boston College they would have much better offensive numbers, IMO.

  • MonsterPod

    I was disappointed that he didn’t participate in camp. Last year I thought that he had moments when he looked pretty good. Decent vision, skating and shot.

    This is a big year for Janko. It’s time that he started to emerge. I hope that he has the drive and desire to get better. He almost seems a bit passive in interviews that I have seen.

    fingers crossed for this prospect but I’d sure like to see that trend line move in the right direction. Especially since I was an early defender of his after the selection. I’m getting close to admitting that those critics so long ago may have been right. How nice would a stud D-Man in our stable look right now…Maata anyone?

    I’m actually looking for Seiloff to have a big year too. Last year was one of bad luck but I like what he brings to the game. He looked really good in practices at development camp for what it is worth. He is a player with an unquestionable level of compete. You can’t talk about Janko selection without adding Seiloff. Let’s hope they both have monster years!

  • SmellOfVictory

    I will echo the sentiment that it was disappointing that injury kept Jankowski from the on ice portion of the prospects camp.

    As a self-professed geek who endeavors to follow all the Flames assets, having seen this player graduate from a Quebec prep school league where he dominated to a solid contributor as a sophomore on an offensively challenged NCAA squad leads one to continue in the belief that this guy could pan out as a reasonable pro. I think it was noted by Jon Gillies that Providence lost only a couple of players to graduation after last season, so team success for the 3 Flames drafts on the squad is a high probability. Personal success for all 3 would be a bonus to a positive team accomplishment.

    It seems that, like Sven Baertschi, Jankowski has been given short shrift by a lot of those who might claim to be Flames fans. While the team’s draft history might give support to that cynical attitude, the past 3 drafts seem poised to break that pattern. Only time will provide the appropriate perspective.

    For one, I think that Jankowski has a good shot at being a solid contributor at the NHL level with a maturity of his size and skill set.

  • MonsterPod

    I know it sucks to do this because it’s redundant, but I saw the game early last year when Tomas Hertl scored four goals in one game in his rookie season for the Sharks. He was in Calder talks until he got injured.

    6’2″ 210lb Center. Drafted 17th. I believe we initially had the 14th.

    Sigh…

    • FeyWest

      Hindsight’s a Fata but you can’t really discount the butterfly effect. Do we get Bennett this year if we had Hertl? Just interesting What-if scenarios. Goes to show the dead-calm of summer is clearly upon us…

      I’m still happy with what we have brewing.

      • SmellOfVictory

        I don’t see how the butterfly effect would do anything to that end. Jankowski has had literally zero effect on the NHL team, so their record wouldn’t have changed. That’s the only way I could possibly see them not drafting Bennett.

        @MonsterPod: Hertl, Girgensons, Teravainen, Maatta. There were an impressive number of kids from 2012 drafted between 14 and 30 who have played in the NHL and looked quite good, or impressed a great deal in their developmental leagues. Interesting, given how recent that draft was, and that it was in the second half of the first round.

          • SmellOfVictory

            I’m not doing a “what could have been”, really (it’s been done to death). Just noting that I think the 2012 draft’s bottom first has been abnormally fast developing, it seems (~360 games after 2 years vs. 2011 which is at ~200 games after 3 years, and the 2010 draft which looks like it was similar to 2011 after 2 years). Seemed on topic given the discussion of Hertl.

        • FeyWest

          I wasn’t referring to what Jankowski is/isn’t doing I’m pointing to if we had Hertl instead and assuming the same Development path to the NHL as he’s had with SJS. All it would have taken was him to get a goal in one of our 1-goal losses for us to end in 5th, etc, etc…

          • SmellOfVictory

            Fair. However, sticking him in the Flames’ top 9 still drops someone else out of the picture. I’m not of the belief that most teenage rookies outside of the absolutely elite ones make a huge positive impact on their teams.

          • FeyWest

            That’s understandable and would agree with you on that. I’m not a proponent of hindsight drafting as the context is usually lost for the most part and you never know how said player will grow in system X. Unfortunately we don’t live in a vacuum so the different environments have dynamic developmental effects.

            I am interested to see what strides Janko can make this year, it’s the year I think will give the best early indication of what we’ve got.

          • SmellOfVictory

            Things that denote lack of intelligence: excessive volume of dots in an ellipsis. Also: use of ellipses in general. What are you, a 13 year old Valley girl?

  • ChinookArchYYC

    When I saw the title, I thought for sure we’d see another war between the Feaster apologists and Jankowski critiques. Instead we get comic relief.

    I hope he turns into an asset. I’d be happy with 4th line centre at this point. Feaster over-hyped this guy and has had a microscope on him ever since. Where the Flames picked him really have nothing to do with the player.

  • beloch

    Some quick stats on Jankowski:

    1. He’s third in scoring on his team behind players who are three and four years older than him respectively.
    2. Just 3 of his 13 goals were scored on the power play.
    3. He was second on the team in +/-, behind only Ross Mauermann, the 23 year old scoring leader.
    4. He took 2.26 shots per game and had a scoring percentage of 15.1%.
    5. Jankowski scored 11.4% of the Friar’s goals and collected 6.5% of the assists.
    6. Four players took over 100 faceoffs for Providence. Mauermann was first, winning 54.4%, but Jankowski came in second at 53.8%.

    What all this says to me is that Providence still isn’t a very good team offensively, but Jankowski is pulling more than his fair share of the weight while he’s 3-4 years younger than the other heavy pullers. If he changed teams or was given an upgrade in linemates his numbers could easily explode. He’s more than worth keeping an eye on over the next couple of seasons.

    Did Feaster make the right move by trading down? According to the draft pick value review we did last month, the Flames #14 overall pick was worth 0.519 #1’s. The #21 and #42 picks they got in exchange were worth a combined total of 0.763 #1’s (Note, units are in terms of average #1 pick values based on fits to entire drafts over many seasons, and probably don’t reflect the value of an individual 1st round pick in a specific draft very well since the top five tend to buck population trends.). Going by the math, trading down was a profitable choice. Jankowski may not prove to be the best player available in 20/20 hindsight but, at the time, the probabilities said taking Buffalo’s offer was a smart move. I’m still okay with it.

    For those wringing their hands over Jankowski versus others in his draft class, bear in mind that Pat Sieloff was also acquired by trading down, and he may prove useful in the NHL too. In 20/20 hindsight, better selections could have been made, but that’s almost always going to be the case. The fact that the Flames still have two prospects with a chance of playing in the NHL is a positive thing.

  • Deef

    To beloch’s point, we got Seiloff who projects to be a pro… and a really MEAN NASTY pro too.

    I’ll take one of them and a third line center in Janko (Under Monahan and Bennett) over Olli Maatta any day.

  • seve927

    I kept track of game summaries for Janko’s season last year. I don’t have it with me, but he had something like 25 plusses and 10 minuses. If he was getting buried with zone starts I’d say those are incredible numbers. One of the minuses was a shorthanded goal against, and one was an empty net. 8 even strength goals against in 39 games. One every 5 games. In tough minutes. While physically immature.

    Yes, this prospect intrigues me. I don’t believe NHLE is telling the whole story.

  • loudogYYC

    Sorry to sound negative, but I think Jankowski is 3 years away from becoming present day Joe Colborne. A somewhat promising asset that doesn’t stand out for much more than his intriguing potential.

    I’d love to be proven wrong, but I don’t see Janko as a top 6 centre in the future. I’m just glad he’s not a Flames top 5 prospect.

    • loudogYYC

      It’s interesting– I looked into it a bit today, and there’s an argument that Jankowski’s results the last two years are better than Chris Kreider’s were at the same age.

      Freshman: Kreider (23pts 9th on team) Jankowski (18pts 5th on team)

      Sophomore: Kreider (24pts 8th on team) Jankowski (25pts 3rd on team)

      There’s the whole “Providence isn’t as deep as BC was so Jankowski gets more icetime” thing, but I think it’s interesting that Kreider’s potential was never really in doubt in spite of a relatively mediocre college career.

  • MonsterPod

    Janks seems like a nice kid and obviously I hope he turns into a stud because he’s ours, but I’ve never understood why Feaster and Co drafted a ‘project’ in the first place.

    I know the rebuild had not officially begun, but it seemed to me that the Flames needed some more immediate help. A ‘project’ is something I could see the Kings drafting because they’re loaded.

    Regarding Maata: I’m guessing we could offer Pitt Jankowski, Seiloff, and Baertschi right now and they would say no.