Way, way back in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft, the Calgary Flames went off the board and selected forward Mark Jankowski from a Quebec prep school. The selection has long been a point of contention among the fanbase – some preferred Olli Maatta or a number of other players that have since played and made an NHL impact.
Now, four and a half years after being selected by the Flames at 21st overall, Jankowski is getting his first taste of NHL action. He was recalled by the Flames earlier this morning from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat as a replacement for the injured Kris Versteeg.
Jankowski, 22, has had a very strong pro career to this point. In 21 American Hockey League games he’s amassed 18 points, and his playing style has drawn praise from many AHL onlookers. In particular, he’s said to have figured out how to play an effective game “below the dots” – the area between the net and the faceoff circles. He won an NCAA Championship in 2015 and was named to the tournament all-star team.
He’ll be the second member of the Flames’ 2012 NHL Draft class to debut with the club, following in the footsteps of 2012 fourth round pick Brett Kulak. If Jankowski does play tonight there could potentially be five Flames first round picks dressed (Backlund, Jankowski, Monahan, Bennett, Tkachuk), which may be a record for this club in recent years. For those of you curious, he wore #77 in training camp.
The Flames play Boston tonight with a 5:30 p.m. puck drop.
UPDATE: Reports from Boston are that Jankowski likely won’t play tonight.