The Flames have depth scoring issues. Thankfully, they can be fixed for free.
Andrew Mangiapane established himself as one of the AHL’s best players this year at the age of 21. He’s likely going to be a full time Flame next season, based on his stellar season this year and stellar season in general. The kid has had back to back 20 goal, 20 assist seasons, and is probably going to get a major opportunity to prove he can do it in the NHL next year.
An undervalued asset since day one, Mangiapane wasn’t even selected in the OHL draft, and had to wait until his second year of eligibility to get picked up by a team. To add salt in the wound, NHL teams weren’t even interested in taking a late round flyer on him after a productive-ish draft season (51 points in 68 games) with the Barrie Colts, despite an OHL first All-Rookie team nod.
But he continued plugging away and bounced back with an outstanding 104 point season, doubling his production from the year before. Again, his productive season wasn’t given the respect it deserved, and Mangiapane tumbled down to the sixth round despite being ranked somewhere in the third or fourth round by scouting services.
To prove it wasn’t a fluke, Mangiapane came back with a 106 point season in his final OHL year despite serving an eight game suspension in the middle of the season. His professional debut with the Stockton Heat was also very productive, as he picked up 20 goals enroute to a 41 point season, which is impressive considering he fell on a 20 game cold streak in the middle of the year.
Mangiapane began his season in the AHL on an offensively explosive line with Mark Jankowski and Garnet Hathaway. When his two linemates found their way to the NHL, Mangiapane remained and kept playing like no one left. He didn’t go a game without a point until a month had passed in the season, having picked up 16 points in 10 games to that point.
He picked up 17 points in the next 18 games before he was recalled in December to replace the injured Kris Versteeg. Given the Flames’ left wing depth at the time, he could only find a spot on the fourth line. In ten games with the club, he put up zero points but looked pretty alright. He finished right in the black with a 50CF% in the NHL.
Mangiapane was reassigned to the AHL at trade deadline, finishing the season with 13 points in his last 11 games before shoulder surgery ended his season a month early. The Heat finished the year 5-9 in his absence, scoring two goals or less in seven of those games.
|GP||G||A||P||Primary points||5v5 Points||5v5 Primary points||NHLe|
Mangiapane’s NHLe was about the same as it was during his OHL years, which could be read as him being just as dominant in the AHL as he was in the OHL. If you remember how dominant he was in the OHL, you can get a good picture of what he was like this season.
A key difference between his production in the OHL versus the AHL is that Mangiapane had 100 point producers alongside him on the OHL. That wasn’t true in 2017-28. Mangiapane finished first in Stockton scoring, six points ahead of Morgan Klimchuk while having played 23 fewer games.
Mangiapane was tops in almost every category on the Heat for the year. Goals, points, primary points, 5v5 points, 5v5 primary points, NHLe, estimated P/60, etc. This is before you factor in the fact that Mangiapane played the least games of the regular AHL Flames prospects with 39. When you break things down to a per game basis, Mangiapane leads in every category. In some categories, it’s by significant margins.
Mangiapane was involved in 38.38% of all goals, nearly 16% higher than the next highest contributor, and 28.36% of those contributions were primary contributions, just over 12% better than second place. For 5v5 goals, he was involved in 37.85% of goals (14% higher than #2) and the primary contributor on 28.38% (just under 11% higher than #2). No matter which way you cut it, the Heat were Mangiapane’s team this past season.
Players who have had comparable seasons to Mangiapane often make the NHL and become strong middle-six performers. Similar producers at even strength generally make the NHL full time at an 88% clip, scoring around 0.53 PPG throughout their careers. That number dips a little bit when you only consider 5v5 performances, where similar players have made the NHL around 55% of the time, but scoring remains the same at 0.52 PPG. However, when you consider players who were similar at both AS and 5v5, 100% of them went on to become NHLers, scoring at 0.49 PPG.
Those are all extremely good numbers for an AHL forward. AHL success can often times be misleading, but Mangiapane’s success in the league lines up well with some of the league’s better graduates. His intelligence and offensive instincts should carry over well to the NHL, although his defensive game will need a bit of work.
Mangiapane's 5th goal of the season has Stockton up two goals heading into the final 20 minutes pic.twitter.com/zxWAPb5byd
— Stockton Heat (@AHLHeat) October 28, 2017
If there’s a lock for someone to make the jump, it has to be Mangiapane. He’s proven that he’s too good for the AHL. There are few players who performed at his level at his age, and pretty much all of them went on to have pretty productive NHL careers. For a team that needs scoring, it’s a promising to have a kid with a scoring pedigree readily available to you.
The problem is that LW is the deepest position on the Flames, but given Mangiapane’s resume, it’s going to be hard to deny him a spot. I’m sure they’ll find a way to keep him on the team. (Does he play RW? Maybe he’ll need to adapt.) He’s too good not to be there.
Brett Pollock | Emile Poirier | Austin Carroll | Morgan Klimchuk | Hunter Shinkaruk | Spencer Foo | Rasmus Andersson | Tyler Wotherspoon | Oliver Kylington | Josh Healey & Adam Ollas Mattsson | Mitchell Mattson | Hunter Smith | Mason McDonald | Tyler Parsons | Juuso Valimaki | Nick Schneider | Adam Ruzicka | Matthew Phillips | D’Artagnan Joly | Glenn Gawdin | Zach Fischer | Dillon Dube | Filip Sveningsson | Eetu Tuulola | Adam Fox | Linus Lindstrom | Pavel Karnaukhov & Rushan Rafikov