FlamesNation Player Evaluations: Mark Jankowski

Comments section ahoy!

Season Summary

Janko entered his final year of NCAA hockey looking to defend the Friars’ title. He started off strong, scoring nine points in his first six games, and 16 in his first 12 while breezing through the easy section of the schedule. In the grueling Hockey East, his production fell, scoring only two points in five December games. He picked himself back up, scoring nine in eight January games, and 11 in February to finish the regular season.

The postseason tournaments were incredibly disappointing for Providence. After breezing past Merrimack 3-1 and 2-0 in their best-of-three series (Janko’s final two points), the Friars suffered a disappointing triple overtime loss to UMass-Lowell in the semifinals. The heartache was exponential in the Frozen Four tournament. Despite being the highest seeded in their region, the Friars fell 2-1 in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth. Jankowski played through the game with a severe illness, hampering his ability and later requiring hospitalization.

After being eliminated from the tournament, we had some minor drama with Jankowski putting the pen to paper. Eventually, the two sides came together and Janko signed a two-year ELC, and headed to Stockton on an ATO to try and salvage their season. Despite the Heat failing to capture a playoff spot, Janko turned some heads with six points in his first eight games of professional hockey.

The Numbers

This section is going to be considerably longer than previous player evaluations. In the four years Janko spent at Providence, all the numbers have been dissected, but little consensus has been reached. We’re going to try and cut through that noise, breaking down certain stats by section and look at the positives and negatives each stat can offer.

Possession and usage:

Based on Lambert’s count, we have some rare college possession metrics for Mark Jankowski:

article_bb8f707e-a6ad-436b-9749-49376f1f6c61


The possession data, albeit for a quarter of his season, supports the argument of Jankowski as a two-way player. This is more concrete when you consider how good Jankowski was, by some astounding margins, relative to his team (+7.1% CF rel, +8.7% FF rel, +4.7% SF rel, and 33.2% GF rel).

Perhaps a bit more concerning is how he was used. You’ll notice that Janko also received 6.6% more favourable zone starts relative to his teammates (56.9%). This is somewhat concerning. Being sheltered this much takes away from his dominant possession stats, as he wasn’t getting the tough workload his teammates were. This also refutes the idea that Nate Leaman, Providence’s head coach, played Jankowski in a defensive role. Janko got the fortunate starts, but didn’t produce as much as you would like someone to with those zone starts.

Other nasty details include Jankowski’s puck luck. His on-ice PDO was 105.6, and his shooting percentage this year was 17.4%. Neither of these numbers are sustainable. Even if you argue that Janko is naturally a high percentage shooter, this year was exceptionally higher, as his career average is 13.2%. Scoring 15 goals on 86 shots is rare, and he won’t get by shooting only two shots per game in the bigs (he averaged 1.38 S/G in the AHL, a lower number than nine-pointer Morgan Klimchuk).

The final area of concern is ice time. On average for these nine games, Janko played 13.82 (about 13:49) minutes of ES time. Compared to his team, he was on the ice for a shade under 25% of EV ice time. Without data on other Providence players, it would be wrong to say that this is because Nate Leaman rolls four lines. Even so, it defies all hockey sense to deny your supposed best player minutes because of some notion that ice time must be evenly distributed (hockey is not communism). It’s also easy to guess that there’s something else aloof here, but we’ll comeback to that later.

The finer points of points:

Primary points have recently become a key tool in prospect analysis. With eye accounts varying about a player’s skill, the data about how points came to be is useful as it cuts out some of the noise from positive and negative camps.

At Providence, Janko was a primary points machine. 19 of his 25 assists in all situations were primary assists. Tacking on his 15 goals, that means 34/40 of his points were primary. At 5v5 ES, he scored 23 primary points (eight G, 15 A).

He partially continued this trend in the AHL, having been the primary contributor on four of his six points – the difference being that only one of those primary points (an assist) came at even strength. Again, not time for alarm bells, but perhaps we should also mention something about Jankowski’s special teams production.

Shorthanded, he’s done some stuff I suppose. He scored an assist in both college and the AHL. His area of expertise is more the powerplay. In the NCAA, he posted 10 PP points, all of them primary. In the AHL, his only two goals were PP goals (plus a secondary assist). This is a concern on its own, seeing as 25% of his senior points and 50% of his pro points were scored on the man advantage. Certainly having powerplay prowess isn’t a bad thing, but if it wildly inflates his point total, it can deceive.

Bringing us to our next topic…

NHLe and comparables:

Just to get this out of the way first, I would like to say that NHLe, like looking at total points throughout a season, is a contextless number. There’s a lot influencing the final number.

Back at M&G, I tracked all prospects’ NHLe on a month-to-month basis, and charted the results at the end of the year. Here’s the chart for Jankowski:

image002.0

He started off very hot, but fell way down to Earth. However, it all counts in the end. Putting Jankowski’s points into context, we cannot claim he truly is a point-per-game player. Twelve of his 40 points came in three of his 38 games (game log here). He was held completely off the scoresheet in nearly a third of his games. Without including the fact that 25% of his points were PP points, it seems that Jankowski’s NHLe total is widely inflated by his three good games and powerplay usage, rather than deflated by Providence’s style of play.

But we’ll accept the number we have: 31.93. Generally speaking, 30 is a benchmark number for NHLe-based projections. If you do not reach 30 NHLe by 20 in one of the bigger leagues (NCAA, CHL), then your chances of being an NHLer are decreased.

Based on data collected by FlamesNation’s Byron Bader, that will likely be the case for Jankowski. The Google Doc here lists all the players drafted between 2004-2014 who played in the NCAA and hit 30 NHLe, and at what age they hit that mark.

Looking at those who hit 30 NHLe after age 21.00, the data is not favourable to Jankowski. Only three of these players that hit this mark turned into average point producers (Alex Killorn, Craig Smith, Tommy Wingels). Five turned into 0.1-0.3 PPG producers (Joe Vitale, Justin Abdelkader, Colin Greening, Chris VandeVelde, Bradley Malone), and four turned into busts (though to be fair, all but one were over 22).

This is more or less suggests that Jankowski’s ceiling is a 3/4 C if he even makes it to the NHL. I know that some would rush to call him an exception, but he can’t be defined as one until he proves he is. Until then, he’s a middling prospect tracking to be a career AHLer.

Eye Test:

I’m sure you’re familiar with our old pal Ryan Lambert! If you aren’t, Lambert is FN’s resident college hockey expert, specializing in Hockey East coverage and analysis. He’s written on Janko extensively since he has been drafted. I’ve previously linked to some of them, but here are more Lambert articles discussing Jankowski this year:

5 Things: College Prospect Update

(November 21st)

5 Things: Some College Updates Just For You

(January 30th)

A final college update on Mark Jankowski

(April 2nd)

If you want to unite all three articles under one thesis, you could say this: Jankowski has had flashes of brilliance, but when considering the context of his senior season and his whole body of work, he is unlikely to repeat this at a higher level. I think I’ve echoed that enough through this article.

Here’s an alternate opinion from Brandon Kisker (via Taylor), play-by-play man for the Stockton Heat:

Finally a real nod to Mark Jankowski. Again limited action and you read so much about him, and I remember back when he was drafted and learning that he was the highest prep school athlete taken in the draft in NHL history. I think a lot of people thought he’d end up being a bust, and a lot of negative press about him was out there before he even took to the ice as a pro. Knowing and having read plenty, it’s hard to not get excited to see what the kid could do.

If he didn’t blow you away, you should stop watching hockey…

Janko was fantastic. Such smooth hands… SUCH silky mitts….

One of the real joys of watching him in the end was just seeing him buy some time by using his elusiveness to his advantage along the half-wall and shovelling passes across the ice to set up goals or grade-A scoring chances. Having 6 points in 8 games is huge for a kid that has to be playing with a chip on his shoulder.

I thought what he said during his exit interview was real positive too. He can’t be complacent with his success and knows he has some work to do.

Particularly, he needs to fill out a bit more because he was pushed around a lot.  That obviously just takes him putting in the work at the gym and getting stronger.

Put it this way.  I was really excited to see
him for the final 8 games this season.  I’m REALLY excited to see him
next season, potentially, with the Stockton Heat.  A hardworking summer
could see the first rounder with the Heat a stronger athlete to go along
with an already intelligent and gifted two-way player. 

Hop on the
Jankowski bandwagon now folks before you get left behind. Another side note, he was a good person too.

We’ll say Janko has mixed reviews.

Perhaps some may argue that the silence regarding Janko is deafening. Unlike Jimmy Vesey, Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Hayes, Justin Schultz (!), among many others to come out of the NCAA ranks, there has been considerably less hype from other teams for Jankowski. JankoWatch was only unique to Calgary.

This is certainly not a scientific method of judging a hockey player’s ability. In fact, it is the exact opposite of that. It does seem concerning though that nearly nobody (except anonymous internet folk) really saw the positives in Jankowski, or saw enough in him to merit discussion.

Conclusion

There really is no definitive answer for what Jankowski can be. Each side of the great Janko debate has plenty of ammunition (scientific or not) to counter the opposition. Despite the differences, I feel that we can all agree on a few statements for what Janko is now.

Jankowski certainly possesses a strong ability to generate assists and can be a possession driver. This is his strong suit, but that might be it. He has not shown an ability to generate shots at a consistent rate, and despite his lofty goal totals his shooting percentage and goal totals are likely to fall. We also must acknowledge that he was given favourable circumstances to succeed, receiving powerplay time and lofty zone starts (by Lambert’s count). Accounts vary on what matchups he received, but it certainly seems like he was not trusted with heavy workloads. This is especially concerning, as he was a senior and therefore older and more experienced than most he came up against. Jankowski certainly has skill, but the red flags surrounding him throws his NHL future into question.

What Comes Next?

Regardless of whether or not you believe in the Ten Year Plan, we can all certainly agree that Janko will spend almost the entire 2016-17 campaign with the Stockton Heat, barring any injury catastrophe. Jankowski is still low on the prospect depth chart, arguably behind Drew Shore, Bill Arnold, Freddie Hamilton, and Derek Grant in terms of NHL readiness (pending RFA re-signings).

Performance wise, who really knows what’s going to happen. He could add a few extra pounds to his figure and a smug grin on Jay Feaster’s face. He could also flounder and wind up with the Adirondack Thunder. Both routes are plausible. Based on previous data and trends, I feel that Jankowski could certainly hold his ground in Stockton, but nothing spectacular or deserving of a call-up this upcoming year.

  • beloch

    In 2012, the Sabres used Calgary’s #14 pick to take Zemgus Girgensons, whose career high has been 30 points so far. Last season he had just 18 points in 71 games. He’s been given fairly tough deployment by Buffalo, but his possession stats also aren’t great.

    Meanwhile, Calgary picked up Patrick Sieloff along with Jankowski with the picks they obtained from the Sabres.

    It’s still hard to say who came out ahead in that trade. Jankowski may prove to be a very similar player to Girgensons. Clearly not a top 6 guy, but possibly a useful bottom sixer. Sieloff… Who knows? Defenders do often take longer to mature. He may make the NHL yet.

    The Flames would be laughing right now if they’d taken Olli Maatta instead of Jankowski, but that’s the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

    • SmellOfVictory

      I don’t think it’s even 20/20 hindsight. Maatta was a big faller in that draft; he was originally ranked just outside the top 10 and had good prospect numbers. At the time, the majority of people I saw talking about the Flames’ pick were excited that Maatta was still available when the Flames traded down. He was easily the most legitimate pick at that point.

    • That’s going to be his big test this year- playing alongside professionals rather than training camp invitees.

      As for the winger idea, probably not. Left handed shot on a team full of left wings and centres both in the NHL and AHL. Not much scoring instincts either. The size and speed make it tempting, but I doubt it boosts his scoring totals.

  • OKG

    I don’t need to toot Mark Jankowski’s horn, but it’s safe to say the slant with which this article was written is hilarious.

    Without data on other Providence players, it would be wrong to say that this is because Nate Leaman rolls four lines.

    Or you could just watch a Providence game to realize that Nate Leaman rolls four lines. Crazy concept, I know, for Jankowski’s critics.

    Janko got the fortunate starts, but didn’t produce as much as you would like someone to with those zone starts.

    You point to a statbox that shows Jankowski’s line scored 70% of the goals scored when they were on the ice, yet you dock Jankowski as an individual (who led his line/team in scoring) for the fact that he’s not putting up gaudy point totals. This, right after you point out that he was not playing many minutes.

    You also fail to recognize that Leaman had Jankowski’s line as the “protect the freshmen/sophomores” line. Jankowski was out there most often with Walman who is a tire fire in his own zone. Does that remind you of, say, Bob Hartley putting Wotherspoon and Nakladal out there with Backlund’s line? WHy do you supppose that might be? Do I need to explain to you why coaches mix experienced forwards with inexperienced defensemen, and vice versa?

    He was held completely off the scoresheet in nearly a third of his games.

    Let’s see…tight Hockey East checking, especially when you’re a top ranked squad, and the defending champs getting the absolute best shot of every opponent, in particular to break your undefeated streak to open the season….

    I mean really, that’s hockey for you. You want me to tell you how many times Sean Monahan was held completely off the scoresheet? 38 of 81 games… or nearly a third of his games. That’s how hockey players score, they score in bunches and they’re held completely off the score sheet in a third of their games.

    Jankowski was not playing major junior beating up on 15 year old kids. Sorry if you don’t realize that Hockey East is a conference full of 21 to 25 year old men, with a full week of preparation between matchups.

    Other nasty details include Jankowski’s puck luck. His on-ice PDO was 105.6, and his shooting percentage this year was 17.4%. Neither of these numbers are sustainable.

    Yawn. Jankowski is a beast in front of the net defensively, forcing opponents to perimeter shots. He finds guys backdoors like Wayne Gretzky. His shot is extremely accurate and he only takes it on power play opportunities. Not really much to see here folks, just a Jankowski hater hatin’.

    Eye Test:

    I’m sure you’re familiar with our old pal Ryan Lambert

    One loses all credibility when they use the eye test of someone with a pre-established agenda.

    Tacking on his 15 goals, that means 34/40 of his points were primary

    So what you’re saying is his NHLe should have been higher and he didn’t get enough secondary assists.

    Certainly having powerplay prowess isn’t a bad thing, but if it wildly inflates his point total, it can deceive.

    You must not be a fan of Logan Couture, Evgeni Malkin, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Drew Doughty, Kevin Shattenkirk, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O’Rielly, Jason Spezza, Jakub Voracek or Travis Zajac.

    He has not shown an ability to generate shots at a consistent rate,

    Neither did Alex Tanguay. Oh wait, I’m not confusing capability with style of play, am I?

  • OKG

    I don’t need to toot Mark Jankowski’s horn, but it’s safe to say the slant with which this article was written is hilarious.

    Without data on other Providence players, it would be wrong to say that this is because Nate Leaman rolls four lines.

    Or you could just watch a Providence game to realize that Nate Leaman rolls four lines. Crazy concept, I know, for Jankowski’s critics.

    Janko got the fortunate starts, but didn’t produce as much as you would like someone to with those zone starts.

    You point to a statbox that shows Jankowski’s line scored 70% of the goals scored when they were on the ice, yet you dock Jankowski as an individual (who led his line/team in scoring) for the fact that he’s not putting up gaudy point totals. This, right after you point out that he was not playing many minutes.

    You also fail to recognize that Leaman had Jankowski’s line as the “protect the freshmen/sophomores” line. Jankowski was out there most often with Walman who is a tire fire in his own zone. Does that remind you of, say, Bob Hartley putting Wotherspoon and Nakladal out there with Backlund’s line? WHy do you supppose that might be? Do I need to explain to you why coaches mix experienced forwards with inexperienced defensemen, and vice versa?

    He was held completely off the scoresheet in nearly a third of his games.

    Let’s see…tight Hockey East checking, especially when you’re a top ranked squad, and the defending champs getting the absolute best shot of every opponent, in particular to break your undefeated streak to open the season….

    I mean really, that’s hockey for you. You want me to tell you how many times Sean Monahan was held completely off the scoresheet? 38 of 81 games… or nearly a third of his games. That’s how hockey players score, they score in bunches and they’re held completely off the score sheet in a third of their games.

    Jankowski was not playing major junior beating up on 15 year old kids. Sorry if you don’t realize that Hockey East is a conference full of 21 to 25 year old men, with a full week of preparation between matchups.

    Other nasty details include Jankowski’s puck luck. His on-ice PDO was 105.6, and his shooting percentage this year was 17.4%. Neither of these numbers are sustainable.

    Yawn. Jankowski is a beast in front of the net defensively, forcing opponents to perimeter shots. He finds guys backdoors like Wayne Gretzky. His shot is extremely accurate and he only takes it on power play opportunities. Not really much to see here folks, just a Jankowski hater hatin’.

    Eye Test:

    I’m sure you’re familiar with our old pal Ryan Lambert

    One loses all credibility when they use the eye test of someone with a pre-established agenda.

    Tacking on his 15 goals, that means 34/40 of his points were primary

    So what you’re saying is his NHLe should have been higher and he didn’t get enough secondary assists.

    Certainly having powerplay prowess isn’t a bad thing, but if it wildly inflates his point total, it can deceive.

    You must not be a fan of Logan Couture, Evgeni Malkin, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Drew Doughty, Kevin Shattenkirk, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O’Rielly, Jason Spezza, Jakub Voracek or Travis Zajac.

    He has not shown an ability to generate shots at a consistent rate,

    Neither did Alex Tanguay. Oh wait, I’m not confusing capability with style of play, am I?

  • OKG

    I don’t need to toot Mark Jankowski’s horn, but it’s safe to say the slant with which this article was written is hilarious.

    Without data on other Providence players, it would be wrong to say that this is because Nate Leaman rolls four lines.

    /blockquote>

    Or you could just watch a Providence game to realize that Nate Leaman rolls four lines. Crazy concept, I know, for Jankowski’s critics.

    Janko got the fortunate starts, but didn’t produce as much as you would like someone to with those zone starts.

    You point to a statbox that shows Jankowski’s line scored 70% of the goals scored when they were on the ice, yet you dock Jankowski as an individual (who led his line/team in scoring) for the fact that he’s not putting up gaudy point totals. This, right after you point out that he was not playing many minutes.

    You also fail to recognize that Leaman had Jankowski’s line as the “protect the freshmen/sophomores” line. Jankowski was out there most often with Walman who is a tire fire in his own zone. Does that remind you of, say, Bob Hartley putting Wotherspoon and Nakladal out there with Backlund’s line? WHy do you supppose that might be? Do I need to explain to you why coaches mix experienced forwards with inexperienced defensemen, and vice versa?

    He was held completely off the scoresheet in nearly a third of his games.

    Let’s see…tight Hockey East checking, especially when you’re a top ranked squad, and the defending champs getting the absolute best shot of every opponent, in particular to break your undefeated streak to open the season….

    I mean really, that’s hockey for you. You want me to tell you how many times Sean Monahan was held completely off the scoresheet? 38 of 81 games… or nearly a third of his games. That’s how hockey players score, they score in bunches and they’re held completely off the score sheet in a third of their games.

    Jankowski was not playing major junior beating up on 15 year old kids. Sorry if you don’t realize that Hockey East is a conference full of 21 to 25 year old men, with a full week of preparation between matchups.

  • OKG

    I don’t need to toot Mark Jankowski’s horn, but it’s safe to say the slant with which this article was written is hilarious. (BTW can someone explain to me how to multi-block quote?

    Without data on other Providence players, it would be wrong to say that this is because Nate Leaman rolls four lines.

    Or you could just watch a Providence game to realize that Nate Leaman rolls four lines. Crazy concept, I know, for Jankowski’s critics.

    Janko got the fortunate starts, but didn’t produce as much as you would like someone to with those zone starts.

    You point to a statbox that shows Jankowski’s line scored 70% of the goals scored when they were on the ice, yet you dock Jankowski as an individual (who led his line/team in scoring) for the fact that he’s not putting up gaudy point totals. This, right after you point out that he was not playing many minutes.

    You also fail to recognize that Leaman had Jankowski’s line as the “protect the freshmen/sophomores” line. Jankowski was out there most often with Walman who is a tire fire in his own zone. Does that remind you of, say, Bob Hartley putting Wotherspoon and Nakladal out there with Backlund’s line? WHy do you supppose that might be? Do I need to explain to you why coaches mix experienced forwards with inexperienced defensemen, and vice versa?

    He was held completely off the scoresheet in nearly a third of his games.

    Let’s see…tight Hockey East checking, especially when you’re a top ranked squad, and the defending champs getting the absolute best shot of every opponent, in particular to break your undefeated streak to open the season….

    I mean really, that’s hockey for you. You want me to tell you how many times Sean Monahan was held completely off the scoresheet? 38 of 81 games… or nearly a third of his games. That’s how hockey players score, they score in bunches and they’re held completely off the score sheet in a third of their games.

    Jankowski was not playing major junior beating up on 15 year old kids. Sorry if you don’t realize that Hockey East is a conference full of 21 to 25 year old men, with a full week of preparation between matchups.

  • OKG

    I don’t need to toot Mark Jankowski’s horn, but it’s safe to say the slant with which this article was written is hilarious. You can see automatically who is still bitter about going “off the board” in the 2012 draft even though every other team usually goes off the board once you get past the top 10 of every draft. It’s as if people don’t really understand that every team has its own board.

    Without data on other Providence players, it would be wrong to say that this is because Nate Leaman rolls four lines.

    Or you could just watch a Providence game to realize that Nate Leaman rolls four lines. Crazy concept, I know, for Jankowski’s critics.

    Janko got the fortunate starts, but didn’t produce as much as you would like someone to with those zone starts.

    You point to a statbox that shows Jankowski’s line scored 70% of the goals scored when they were on the ice, yet you dock Jankowski as an individual (who led his line/team in scoring) for the fact that he’s not putting up gaudy point totals. This, right after you point out that he was not playing many minutes.

    You also fail to recognize that Leaman had Jankowski’s line as the “protect the freshmen/sophomores” line. Jankowski was out there most often with Walman who is a tire fire in his own zone. Does that remind you of, say, Bob Hartley putting Wotherspoon and Nakladal out there with Backlund’s line? WHy do you supppose that might be? Do I need to explain to you why coaches mix experienced forwards with inexperienced defensemen, and vice versa?

    He was held completely off the scoresheet in nearly a third of his games.

    Let’s see…tight Hockey East checking, especially when you’re a top ranked squad, and the defending champs getting the absolute best shot of every opponent, in particular to break your undefeated streak to open the season….

    I mean really, that’s hockey for you. You want me to tell you how many times Sean Monahan was held completely off the scoresheet? 38 of 81 games… or 47% of his games. That’s how hockey players score, they score in bunches and they’re held completely off the score sheet in a third of their games.

    Jankowski was not playing major junior beating up on 15 year old kids. Sorry if you don’t realize that Hockey East is a conference full of 21 to 25 year old men, with a full week of preparation between matchups.

  • OKG

    Other nasty details include Jankowski’s puck luck. His on-ice PDO was 105.6, and his shooting percentage this year was 17.4%. Neither of these numbers are sustainable.

    Yawn. Jankowski is a beast in front of the net defensively, forcing opponents to perimeter shots. He finds guys backdoors like Wayne Gretzky. His shot is extremely accurate and he only takes it on power play opportunities. Not really much to see here folks, just a Jankowski hater hatin’.

    Eye Test:

    I’m sure you’re familiar with our old pal Ryan Lambert

    One loses all credibility when they use the second-hand eye test of someone with a pre-established agenda to make a case.

    Tacking on his 15 goals, that means 34/40 of his points were primary

    So what you’re saying is his NHLe should have been higher and he didn’t get enough secondary assists to pretty up his stat line for you.

    Certainly having powerplay prowess isn’t a bad thing, but if it wildly inflates his point total, it can deceive.

    You must not be a fan of Logan Couture, Evgeni Malkin, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Drew Doughty, Kevin Shattenkirk, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O’Rielly, Jason Spezza, Jakub Voracek or Travis Zajac.

    He has not shown an ability to generate shots at a consistent rate,

    Neither did Alex Tanguay. Oh wait, I’m not confusing capability with style of play, am I?

    • Baalzamon

      Speaking of someone with a predetermined agenda… did you not realize that ctibs brought up Jankowski’s primary point production as A GOOD THING?

      Specifically this:

      At Providence, Janko was a primary points machine.

      • OKG

        I’ll concede there are some attempts to resemble objectivity in the article. They are few and far between and mostly coated in biased analysis (“not shown an ability to generate shots” vs a more neutral “did not have many shots”)

        • Quick q: why are you slamming people for objectivity when you claim people who disagrees with you have a “pre-established agenda”? Isn’t that a cynical, dare I say, biased approach to this discussion?

          I can understand why you don’t like Lambert (I could barely stand him when I was a commenter here too), but he has been covering college hockey for years. He’s seen many players come and go, either to failure or to success. His opinion is valid whether or not you agree with it, and dismissing it is ruining the objectivity you want to have.

    • Would love to see any sort of data you have to back up these assertions. I can’t seem to find it by people who aren’t already convinced of Jankowski’s success.

      Like Baalzamon said, this is an article that is trying to be completely objective (You seem to have missed it, but there’s an absolutely glowing review of Janko right underneath Lambert’s quotes). Unfortunately, from all the data I’ve seen – on Janko and on other players- there is very little to suggest that he is anything special. This is the data and folks I trust, you have yours, and you’re completely entitled to your opinion. However, you’re not going to find many people outside of Flames circles who agree with you.

      I’d be thrilled if Jankowski turned out like all those dudes you mentioned. However, up to this point, he has played and produced like none of them.

      • OKG

        This is an article trying to be completely objective?

        Perhaps a bit more concerning is how he was used. You’ll notice that Janko also received 6.6% more favourable zone starts relative to his teammates (56.9%). This is somewhat concerning. Being sheltered this much takes away from his dominant possession stats, as he wasn’t getting the tough workload his teammates were.

        Why is this flawed? Because zone starts in isolation are not indicative of being sheltered. This is a narrative being pushed by an author who has a predisposition against Jankowski.

        Examples of NHL centers this season who had a +5 to 8% offensive zone start push:

        Jonathan Toews

        Jason Spezza

        Joe Thornton

        Henrik Zetterberg

        Sidney Crosby

        Martin Hanzal

        Do these sound like “sheltered” players to you? Or does it sound like you cherry-picked a statistic (which, BTW, has limited statistical value) and then made a narrative around it without having actually watched the player play to give it context.

        This is almost as bad as when Ryan Lambert declared Jankowski’s coach has no confidence in him because he didn’t play him in overtime. The same game that he was hospitalized.

        This also refutes the idea that Nate Leaman, Providence’s head coach, played Jankowski in a defensive role.

        You neglect to mention that this idea was put forth in prior seasons, not this one.

        didn’t produce as much as you would like someone to with those zone starts.

        You neglect to measure that your metric for production ignores minutes – your idea of production is totals, which is influenced by… minutes.

        Other nasty details include Jankowski’s puck luck. His on-ice PDO

        Now there’s a word, “nasty” that doesn’t particularily strike me as objective. Additionally of all you call PDO puck luck. PDO is not puck luck. That is a narrative. PDO is on-ice save percentage + shooting percentage. That is objective. To call it “nasty” is a narrative.

        area of concern is ice time.

        See, you’re again adding a slant to the data. It’s not an “area of concern” unless you’re “enhancing it” with a narrative that Jankowski’s coach does not trust him. Meanwhile

        Jankowski’s own coach says:

        “”He’s playing, if not the most, the second most minutes on our team consistently,” head coach Nate Leaman told CalgaryFlames.com recently. “Every night, he’s playing in every situation. He’s pretty much out at the last minute of the game, whether we’re up by a goal or down by a goal.”

        So your slant is “Leaman doesn’t trust Jankowski” while Leaman’s unsolicited claim is that he trusts Jankowski as much as anybody.

        Why is that? You have Bias.

        Shorthanded, he’s done some stuff I suppose.

        See, you add “i suppose”

        there’s the slant. Obvious Reluctancy to give him credit.

        This is a concern on its own, seeing as 25% of his senior points…

        Is that a concern or are you making it sound like a concern? How many players don’t score 25%+ of their points on the PP?

        I know that some would rush to call him an exception, but he can’t be defined as one until he proves he is. Until then, he’s a middling prospect tracking to be a career AHLer.

        More slant. “some would rush” (implying they’re the irrational group) “middling prospect” ( a clearly subjective claim), “career AHLer” (this is a claim that can only objective when made after-the-fact)

        there has been considerably less hype from other teams for Jankowski.

        Since when is hype completely objective?

        Each side of the great Janko debate has plenty of ammunition (scientific or not)

        The obvious implication here, is that one side is scientific, and the other side is not. When really, as you admitted yourself, NHLe is a contextless stat, and the problem is that Jankowski’s context is, as your proved yourself, unlike the context of a typical prospect.

        Jankowski certainly possesses a strong ability to generate assists and can be a possession driver. This is his strong suit, but that might be it. He has not shown an ability to generate shots at a consistent rate

        Again, “not shown an ability to generate shots at a consistent rate” – the implication that you’re slanting the data with is that he individually struggles to generate shots.

        We also must acknowledge that he was given favourable circumstances to succeed, receiving powerplay time and lofty zone starts (by Lambert’s count).

        He didn’t play the minutes pushes that players who succeed play, he didn’t play with exceptional linemates (in fact prior to this year Providence didn’t even have a point-per game player. Guess who the point per game forward was this year), his power play time wasn’t “all power play long” as is the case for the Kyle Connors of the world (literally, all power play long), he didn’t play for a run and gun team that focuses on offense over safe plays. Basically you are focusing on “he got power play time (which NHL prospect doesn’t get power play time?) and “he got favourable zone starts (zone starts are line changes off of faceoffs, they are not on-the-fly line changes which represent the majority of line changes)

        it certainly seems like he was not trusted with heavy workloads…. red flags …….Ten Year Plan

        So again, you’ve completely ignored what his own coach in college said, which I quoted above. Here we have another excerpt from his AHL coach.

        Ryan Huska said:

        I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised and very happy with what he was able to do in the short period he was with us,” said the coach of the Heat.

        “He showed an offensive side, he showed a responsible defensive side, he can make plays from the middle of the ice and every game he played for us, he got much more confident to the point where we were using him in tons of key situations at the end,” Huska said. “And a lot of the games that we were playing down the stretch, we were still fighting to get ourselves into the playoffs so the games meant something and I felt he raised his level every game.

        “He has a lot of intriguing factors about him because he is that big centre man. If he can continue to put on the weight and continue to challenge himself and come back to camp with confidence, I’m excited to see what he’s going to do next year.”

        But keep on pushing that narrative of him being untrusted because Ryan Lambert said so in a game where he had to be hospitalized….This isn’t me being a conspiracy theorists and looking for subjectivity where there is none. This is my seeing an article written by someone who claims to be completely objective yet not-so-subtley pushes a narrative that fits their opinion.

        • Jumping Jack Flash

          Well said. I appreciate the fact the author added some supporting commentary but I found it to be calculated. It is clear the 2 camps will never agree,even when the kid is a grisly old veteran playing in the NHL.

          I must admit I lost respect for Lambert’s opinion when he conveniently made his post season NCAA narrative fit his pre disposition of Janko. There is a breach of trust the author has with his audience , when they do not investigate a story before printing.

          We quickly learned that Janko’s coach had not lost confidence in his senior during the critical times in a must win game. It turned out that Janko was very ill and on IV in between periods. One of the team’s most valuable players and leaders last year on their drive to a championship….suddenly fell out of favour with his coach. It just did not seem right…..because it wasn’t

          Don’t hate the kid for the lofty expectations a GM made public. Realize that Janko was destined to be a project given the path he chose to take playing in the NCAA and given the frame he had to work with.

          If the flames didn’t sign him it would have been a major disappointment. But it is important to realize that there were no doubt teams lining up to sign a 6’4 Center, just look at the up coming draft to see the value. He has above average Skill, shot, speed, and vision.

  • freethe flames

    As I said the other day about Poirier, the good news is that it’s about what Janko does with his opportunity; he controls his destiny. Before I rush to judgement I want the young man to be given a chance. That’s it.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    It seems like people are waiting for this kid to bust. Considering he did more with the ice time he got in the AHL than most of our so called ” more NHL ready ” players and more than our most recent First rounders like Klimchuck and Pourier…we need to show some love.

    I don’t think this kid has a chip on his shoulder, he could have pushed to burn a year off his contract but believes he will be on the flames at some point next year. I believe the fact he is so grounded is reason enough not to doubt the kid.

    I don’t believe it is ” if ” he will make it to the NHL anymore but “when”.

    • No one is waiting for him to bust, we just think the data points to it. If he’s awesome in the NHL, I wouldn’t be angry just because I didn’t win internet argument points.

      As for the AHL, remember the small sample size. Kenney Morrison came on an ATO and scored six points in ten games. This year, he had 13 in 44 and was often a healthy scratch. Across the whole 68 games, I think we see a different Janko.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        I realize that it is a small sample size, but the offense was a struggle for most of the players. Janko would have had a target on his back going to the AHL at the end of the season…but he exceeded everyone’s expectations but his own. I am expecting that he packs on 10lbsof Muscle in the off season now that he has a professional trainig model to follow.

        I would think a player like Benn that was selected in the 7th round would have a far greater bust potential.

        • Oh man, don’t even know where to start here.

          – zone starts absolutely matter. Jankowski received major offensive zone time both in raw and rel counts. That makes him a sheltered player. His amazing possession stats lose meaning considering he is in the best position to rack up those stats while his teammaters are in the worst. If he started a ton of defensive starts with the same possession stats, perhaps my analysis of him would be different. That is a criticism that extends to every player in the league (btw, you said earlier that he is given these starts to “protect the freshmen.” Which coach would ever “protect the freshmen” by placing them in a position to get their heads kicked in?)

          – PDO is actually a measure of puck luck. This is not something I made up. The stat was designed and has always been used to measure luck in hockey, and you will never find a statistician who agrees with your assertion that it isn’t. Janko isn’t going to shoot 17%, and he isn’t going to have a .930 goalie in the pros, sorry. Redefining a stat because it doesn’t fit your argument seems very un-objective (and yes, having a high PDO is nasty. The Flames had a high PDO in 2014-15. Didn’t do them too well)

          – The shot generation comment is 100% fair. In 2/4 college seasons, he averaged under 2 shots per game (one being his junior year). His high is 2.26. He couldn’t average 2/G in the AHL. At what point is it not fair to say that he doesn’t have the ability to generate shots? If he does, why doesn’t it show?

          – it is absolutely fair to criticize Janko’s powerplay totals if they are being used to prove that he is coming of age offensively. 29 points (his EV total) in 38 games is not an impressive total. 40 in 38 is.

          – I don’t think quoting coaches is a good way to show objectivity. A coach is never going to say something negative about their players, their tendency is to keep players on their side. There’s also the fact that a coach’s comments are a reflection of their own opinions (or if you will, biases) on the game of hockey. Why is it objective to include these? You aren’t going to learn anything new (not to mention this is confirmation bias on your own part).

          – I strongly urge you to go back and re-read all the quotes you took out of context. There are whole paragraphs around them explaining my justification for using the words I did. I certainly did say he was a middling prospect, but that’s because the NHLe data said he was a middling prospect (also don’t know how you got “irrational” from the word “rush”. English majors don’t read text that deeply)

          – would love to know where exactly I said that Janko’s coach didn’t trust him. That is Lambert’s opinion. Without QualComp stats or stats of teammates, I didn’t feel that I could agree with Lambert, so I didn’t. The quote you pulled has explicitly points to the fact that accounts of Janko’s usage differ, but you left that out of the final comment for whatever reason.

          I would absolutely love to share your optimism for Jankowski. The data doesn’t support it however. I asked if you had any data to support your claims, but instead you chose to just disagree with my data (without actually using numbers) and find the “slants” in the piece. If you’re going to compare Jankowski to Gretzky, Seguin, and whoever else, you should probably bring something to back that up besides your own subjective views.

          (as a final note, I still stand behind my opinion that the Flames shouldn’t have signed him in the first place. Don’t really see the contradiction between the two articles, his projected value is still not greater than a 3rd rounder)

  • BurningSensation

    A young, project 6’5″ skill centre with two way ability is to reach maturity as a prospect, and people here are still bitching about him being selected where he was.

    Unbelievable.

    For the record, he needs 200NHL games (even if only as a 4th liner) to ‘cover the bet’ as a late 1st end pick. That translates to a little over 2.5 seasons – that is the line that separates making a good or bad bet.

    So, do I see Jankowski covering the bet? Yep. His kind (big 1st round pick Cs who can skate), typically get lots of run once they show they can play.

    So enough with the draft bust talk. Even if he is Joe Colborne-2, the pick was inarguably a good one.

    Now, is he the ‘best player from the draft’? I highly doubt it. That was rash and unfair when Feaster said it, and it is rash and unfair to hold him to that standard.

  • BurningSensation

    A young, project 6’5″ skill centre with two way ability is to reach maturity as a prospect, and people here are still bitching about him being selected where he was.

    Unbelievable.

    For the record, he needs 200NHL games (even if only as a 4th liner) to ‘cover the bet’ as a late 1st end pick. That translates to a little over 2.5 seasons – that is the line that separates making a good or bad bet.

    So, do I see Jankowski covering the bet? Yep. His kind (big 1st round pick Cs who can skate), typically get lots of run once they show they can play.

    So enough with the draft bust talk. Even if he is Joe Colborne-2, the pick was inarguably a good one.

    Now, is he the ‘best player from the draft’? I highly doubt it. That was rash and unfair when Feaster said it, and it is rash and unfair to hold him to that standard.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    IF we are going to trade Jankowski (to the Canucks) NOW is the time.

    Don’t wait until after he mails in a crap season under Huska to trade him….do it now while there still is some perceived value there.

    WW

    • Kevin R

      Hahahaha WW, God love ya I get some smiles when I read some of your posts :-}

      Personally, I see Janko’s ceiling similar to what we have in Backlund. In all honesty, I see this kid being a solid defensive 3rd line centre that will be able to kick in some offence here & there. Someone very reliable & we can win with. Is why I have been pounding the package Backlund to Columbus for the 3rd pick so much in these threads.