Flames First Round Targets 2015: David Jankowski

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photo via stansteadcollege.com

The National Hockey League Entry Draft is an opportunity for teams to acquire elite talent at the cost of a free draft pick and if, as a team, you’re not trying to draft the best player in the draft in ten years, you’re doing it wrong. 

Thankfully, we in Calgary can sleep at night knowing the Flames have a track record of seeking out just that.

In 2012, then-general manager Jay Feaster and his right hand man, John Weisbrod, outsmarted 29 other multi-million dollar National Hockey League scouting departments full of the best hockey evaluators on the planet, by selecting a player almost no one had every heard of (except for Craig Button), from a league no one had ever heard of, who would indubitably be the best player to come out of that draft, in 10 years time. No sooner. No later.

Mark Jankowski. 

After being drafted, Jankowski went to college, and has 70 points there through three seasons.

Now it doesn’t happen often, but if you throw a good enough Cowboy themed party every July, the hockey gods may allow you to double-dip in the Fountain of Destiny. One Jankowski is incredible. Two Jankowskis is magic.

Well, when Brad Treliving and Brian Burke (and Daryl Katz’s son, unless he only goes up for Oilers picks) walk up to the podium to make the 15th overall selection, they will have the chance – unless someone outwitted them – to secure the younger half of the Jankowski Power Duo, David Jankowski. 

Jankowski is highly regarded in Quebec boarding school hockey circles, and a highly regarded anonymous  source told me he “could be the best player in this draft in 10 years.” Another trusted anonymous scout told me Jankowski has “great intangibles and tools that you just can’t teach”. 

Golly. Sounds delectably irresistible, no? Let’s dig a little deeper. 

Rankings

FutureConsiderations: NR
HockeyProspect: NR
Hockey Prospectus: NR
Craig Button: NR
ISS: NR
Bob McKenzie: NR
Damien Cox: NR
McKeens Hockey: NR
Corey Pronman: NR
The Hockey News: NR
NHL Central Scouting Final NA: NR

As you can see, due to relatively mild weather in Quebec this winter, there were no flash blizzards that caused scouts to have to stay the night near Stanstead College and stumble upon the next Mario Lemieux, like John Weisbrod did with Mark Jankowski. As a result, likely few made the trip to Stanstead. Their loss. 

Scouting Reports

(Editor’s Note: These are all totally legit, we swear.)

“Good skater, good vision, good passing, good shot, good hockey IQ, good intangibles, good potential” 
Notes: Sounds good. 

“At 6’1, 154 pounds, Jankowski has a lot of room to grow into his body as he matures” 
Notes: That just screams potential.

“His great uncle is Red Kelly, and recent studies have shown that nephews have nearly the exact same hockey make up has their great uncles, and tend to develop into clones of them”

Notes: I’m not one to disagree with science.

Two draft steals for the Flames in 3 years isn’t really fair, but who cares about fair when you’re just 7 years away from Mark becoming a superstar and 10 from David joining him? Add in supporting players like Monahan, Bennett and Gaudreau and you might have yourself a Cup contender.

In All Seriousness

It’s not really fair to the kid in any sense to dedicate an entire article to make fun of him, just because Flames management overvalued his brother. All the jokes and frustrations focused on his brother’s play and development should have nothing to do with how the younger Jankowski is evaluated and treated. Unfortunately, the name Jankowski will likely always be greeted with jeers in this city (at least for a little while) and it’s, unfairly, up to his brother to change that. Mark Jankowski didn’t ask to be drafted 21st overall, ahead of a bunch of really promising prospects. He didn’t ask to get berated by Flames fans from the very second his name was called, but life – and certainly hockey – isn’t always fair. 

David Jankowski is listed as a notable prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft by Elite Prospects and was an honourable mention in Central Scouting’s North American final rankings for this draft, after being ranked 188th in the midterm rankings. This all means there’s a real possibility David Jankowski gets drafted. Not in the first round obviously, but in one of the seven. (Editor’s Note: If he gets picked, it’ll be late.)

He scored at a higher pace than his brother did in his draft year – go figure – at Stanstead College with 110 points in 53 league games. Makes you wonder how Mark was even in the discussion for the 1st round?

David is tall like his brother, standing 6’1″ right now, but is listed at 154 pounds. Brother Mark was around 6’2″, 170 when drafted, and has grown to around 6’3″, 190. David Jankowski’s increase in weight will probably be the most substantial change from where he is now, as the majority of Midget AA and AAA players in the province of Alberta weigh more than he does, let alone NHL draft eligibles.

He’ll fill into his frame and be a good-sized hockey player when fully mature. I, however, say that without specifying if he’ll be a good hockey player or not. He’ll just have good size, and the Flames love good size. He certainly won’t be the best player in this draft in 10 years, I can guarantee you that, but what’s to say he doesn’t develop into a useful NHLer? Same logic can be applied to every player eligible for the draft, I suppose. 

Back to the facts, Jankowski led his team in scoring by quite a wide margin this season and that, especially at his size, most likely means he out skilled opponents rather than out muscled them. That bodes well for Jankowski, as scouts love players that can find success while still waiting on strength, which is acquired with age. He’s definitely gifted with good skill and at very least, there’s some extremely raw potential there.

He’s definitely not worth any of the Flames’ 6 Top 90 picks, but they’ll be making hollers in the 6th and 7th rounds, and why not take a shot at David Jankowski? If anything, for the Twitter firestorm. If he is taken by the Flames, I hope he’s given a fair shake by the fan-base rather than being subject to same ridicule his brother has been.

If this all does come to fruition, just remember you heard it here first, folks. 

    • FeyWest

      Agreed I have no issue with drafting him if he’s there for us int he 7th. I’m probably one of M. Jankowski’s supporters and think he will be a surprise to some.

      In my eyes he’s projecting to be very Backlund-esque in that he could become a very good to elite defensive center and driver of play. He still has one year of college to develop more, then a year or two in the AHL will do him well and will help us further project his potential.

      D. Jankowski could very well develop along the same curve as his older brother and if the above becomes reality we could have another good prospect in our ranks.

  • Christian Roatis

    Click bait titles are fun.

    In all seriousness, he’s got some potential and the 7th round is certainly the time to swing for the fences if you can.

  • Mezzo

    Not to nitpick but I thought the older Janko hit the 200lb “mark” last year, and is 6’4. Not that it matters (and could just be an over-exaggeration from twitter reports, but hey a guy can dream). I’m actually really excited for the kid to come to the Flames development camp and see if he’s actually any good. I watched a couple PC games and he was pretty invisible(he hit a post once which was exciting), but he did play in a defensive role.

    I’ll be apologetic for Janko seeing as he didn’t say he’d be the best player in 10 years and he seems to be working hard, albeit I doubt he makes the NHL who knows!

    And I’m all for drafting David in the 6th round. If nothing else it’s a bit of a jab at the old management, which would be a treat.

  • Parallex

    I always thought the ridicule went to Feaster and Weisbrod.It’s not MJ fault that management piled on the expectations.

    Draft David in the sixth and bring them both to Penticton this summer.

  • Parallex

    As far 7th round picks go I think you could do worse then the younger Jankowski.

    They’re all lottory ticket picks at that point so why not take the lottory ticket that can provide a bit of added value towards an asset that you have a significantly higher investment in.

    Does a CHL team control his rights or does he have an NCAA committment?

  • Skuehler

    While slightly amusing (if you like that obvious slap you in the face humor) I dont think David deserves to be mocked like that or have is name thrown around on the internet in a negative way (albeit humourous but the article does present him in a negative way all in all).

    He is not the one who made the pick. I get taking the $#&@ with Feaster but David has nothing to do with it. Although you obviously dont care how this article would affect a young kid who probably has enough pressure on him.

    Not a bad read but not the classiest of choices for an article.

    • Christian Roatis

      If you read the “In All Seriousness” bit, I say just that. The point of the piece was have some fun with “First Round Targets” bit.

      @TheoForever

      I defended Feaster fiercely (I wrote a giant defence a while back) and who hated him because he was overweight? That’s seriously ridiculous. Yeah, jerks would make fun of it but no one ever correlated his weight to his managerial ability.

      • Christian Roatis

        Yeah… i know… like I said not a bad read. I give credit. Just saying you could have accomplished the same thing by going another route.

        And actually apologies to all the FN writers but please remember when people are critical its because A; they love the flames and B; beacuase we are reading you. We ARE reading you and taking the time to comment. Take it as a compliment overall.

        • Christian Roatis

          In hindsight, I could’ve accomplished this with a little less Jankowski bashing, but I still wanted it to have the sarcastic undertone (while hoping people didn’t take it too seriously).

          Thank you reading, I really do appreciate it 🙂

      • TheoForever

        Glad that you defended him in the past. Cool.

        What gets me is the people who criticize Feaster for trying to be the smartest guy in the room in relation to Jankowski, and few sentences later say that Jay should get no credit for the good picks since he had nothing to do with drafting.

        The truth is that every GM is trying to be the smartest guy in the room. Would it be better if a GM was trying to be the stupidest guy in the room?

        Incidentally Jay was the best thing that happened to Flames in years, which may be indictment of just how inept the collective think of this franchise has been.

        The same people who are nipping at Feaster’s heels, are licking up Treliving because he says the right things. Funny thing our current GM hasn’t done anything great yet, his additions have been of very dubious value, putting a question mark on his ability to judge talent, and make trades. So far not so great, yet he says the right things and he works so hard…

        • Christian Roatis

          My problem with the things Feaster said in public is they put the team in a needlessly vulnerable spot if things went south (Playoff guarantees, etc). If you remember, the Flames were close to Oiler-level ridiculed by media and fans of opposing teams right before the Monahan era, just because of the bold statements based on shaky logic/fact that Feaster pronounced.

          Feaster loved pumping tires in public and it often backfired. The Jankowski pick was a huge gamble, but justifying it by saying he’ll be “the best player in 10 years” just attracted more sarcasm and ridicule to the team, regardless if they actually believed that. I honestly think it would’ve caused less of the sh*tstorm it did if he hadn’t said that.

          Saying Sven Baertschi could be the face of the franchise in public just put completely unnecessary pressure on the kid, and we all know where that went.

          My sarcastic sentence about Feaster outsmarting multimillion dollar scouting departments was meant to be taken in jest. This entire article is a parody, with the exception of the legit scouting report at the end.

          The only issue I had with Feaster was his mouth but his team in less than favourable positions in public. Also, his trading was highly questionable, but overall, I liked Jay Feaster.

          Also, where did I say he should get to credit for drafting? He should get some, but as I understand it he gave the scouting staff free roam for all but the Jankowski pick, which was a Weisbrod pushed selection.

  • TheoForever

    “In 2012, then-general manager Jay Feaster and his right hand man, John Weisbrod, outsmarted 29 other multi-million dollar National Hockey League scouting departments full of the best hockey evaluators on the planet, by selecting a player almost no one had every heard of (except for Craig Button), from a league no one had ever heard of, who would indubitably be the best player to come out of that draft, in 10 years time. No sooner. No later.”

    Not accurate, not that funny, just a rehashed stupidity of the few morons who hate feaster for being portly. Have at it…