The waiting game is finally over.
The Calgary Flames today announced the signing of college center Mark Jankowski, formerly a four-year member of the Providence College Friars of the NCAA, to a two-year entry level contract that begins next season. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available, but presumably Jankowski will get a rookie maximum deal (or something close to it).
Per the team’s release, he’ll join the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League on an amateur try-out for the remainder of the season.
Expectation is CGY and 2012 1st rder Mark Jankowski will today finalize a two-year entry level deal that takes effect next season.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 30, 2016
Mark Jankowski is a Calgary Flame. He will go to AHL Stockton on a PTO to start
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 30, 2016
Jankowski, 21, was the Flames first round selection in the 2012 Draft. That was the year where the Flames famously traded down from 14th overall to 21st overall and recouped themselves a second round pick (used to select Patrick Sieloff and replacing the one they sent to Buffalo the year before to get rid of Ales Kotalik’s contract).
While selecting an obscure teenager from a Quebec prep school raised a few eyebrows around town, chuckles were had league-wide when then-Flames general manager Jay Feaster and assistant general manager John Weisbrod went on the offensive and defended the pick by comparing him to Hall of Fame center Joe Nieuwendyk and predicted that he’d be seen as the best player in the draft in 10 years.
Despite getting shot in the foot right out of the starting blocks by the hockey operations department of that era, Jankowski went to Providence College and had a pretty solid four-year tenure under head coach Nate Leaman. He won a national championship last season and was named to the all-tournament team for his performance, and he led the Friars in scoring during his senior year. While within Flames fan circles he may have been the most contentious player in decades – likely due to the circumstances under which he joined the organization – on paper he’s one of the better college prospects based on his size and collegiate achievements. (A 6’4″, 200+ pound center with a national championship? Those don’t grow on trees.)
Hearing Jankowski is close. I’m sure Jankowski would love to burn year 1 of deal w/games this year. Not sure team would be as keen.
— Dean Molberg (@fan960boomer) March 29, 2016
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that one of the sticking points between the Flames and Jankowski was bonuses:
9. The status of Calgary’s Mark Jankowski is different
because the Providence College forward was a first-rounder. If no deal
is reached, the Flames get a compensatory pick, which would be 51st
overall. (The formula is simple: 30 spots later than where a player was
originally selected.) The issue in Jankowski’s case is bonuses. The club
and the agent (Wade Arnott) are arm-wrestling over them.
Presumably, given that Jankowski (and his agent) are giving up money by not having his entry-level deal start immediately, Treliving won that arm-wrestling match and gave in a bit on bonuses. (It was a negotiation, after all; you’ve gotta give something to get something.)