It’s a good time to be a top Flames prospect.
While Mark Jankowski appears to have made the NHL full time, his former winger, Andrew Mangiapane, remains with the Stockton Heat. Not that he isn’t making the best of it, though, as the AHL has named him the league’s Player of the Month for October.
Mangiapane is a second year professional. As an AHL rookie, he scored 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points in 66 games with the Heat, then good for fourth in team scoring. (Jankowski, the team’s leader, was ahead of him by 15 points.)
Through this past October, Mangiapane picked up five goals and 10 assists for 15 points over nine games, making him not just the Heat’s scoring leader, but the top scorer across the entire AHL. Two players have 13 points; Mangiapane rests alone in the lead. His 1.67 points per game has him tied for sixth in the league in that stat; every player above him has played at least four fewer games than he has.
Only three of Mangiapane’s points have come on the powerplay – a goal and two assists – so he’s doing the bulk of his work at even strength. He has 25 shots on net total – the league leader currently has 40 – so he’s currently shooting well, but he’s also one of the best on the Heat in simply generating volume. (Spencer Foo is the only one who has him beat, with 26.)
Considering where Mangiapane currently is, it’s baffling he was available for the Flames to draft in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft – the second draft for which he was eligible.
One has to think that, should another Flames forward be injured, Mangiapane is the first player in line for a recall. However, while there’s a lot of reasons to be excited for him right now, it’s also important to keep expectations in check. After all, Jankowski was clearly playing well at the AHL level, and though he hasn’t exactly had many chances, he still has yet to score a point in the NHL. That’s not an indictment on him – it’s a note that for as well as a player is playing in a lower league, it’s still a lower league, and patience is a virtue.
That said, this is certainly an encouraging performance from Mangiapane. If he’s able to keep it up throughout the season, then it’s all the better for the Flames.