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Sports Why Flames rookie Mark Jankowski looks like he’s here to stay

22:50  06 december  2017
22:50  06 december  2017 Source:   sportsnet.ca

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When Mark Jankowski was drafted, he was a bit of a surprise pick, and then-general manager of the Calgary Flames %2Fhockey%2Fnhl%2Fflames- rookie - mark - jankowski - looks - like -hes- stay %2F. 26 Comments - Join the Conversation.

Why Flames rookie Mark Jankowski looks like he ' s here to stay . Andrew Berkshire. Flames ' Jaromir Jagr day to day, will miss game vs. Leafs. “ He ’ s kind of the notorious one for saving his highlights on his phone. He ’ s funny,” Matthews says. “He saves a lot of those and he’ll send them like

When Mark Jankowski was drafted, he was a bit of a surprise pick, and then-general manager of the Calgary Flames Jay Feaster was the object of internet ridicule with the extreme confidence he had in Jankowski, an admitted long-term project.

Four years in the NCAA’s Hockey East with Providence and a year in the American Hockey League has made it a long wait to see the first-rounder from 2012 make his mark in the NHL, but after a short but dominant start with the AHL’s Stockton Heat this season, it’s looking like Jankowski is in the NHL to stay.

On the surface, Jankowski’s seven points in 19 games isn’t all that impressive, but at 5-on-5 his 1.56 points per 60 minutes ranks sixth on the Flames, behind the bonkers-good top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Micheal Ferland, along with Mikael Backlund and Jaromir Jagr.

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Why Flames rookie Mark Jankowski looks like he ’ s here to stay . G53 Calgary Flames @ Chicago Blackhawks: Five things to watch. Mark Jankowski ready for his opportunity with the Flames .

Sportsnet' s Sam Cosentino delves into how the Calgary Flames got Mark Jankowski , why it has taken him so long to become a regular in the NHL. Cosentino also looks at other youngsters on both the Flames and Blues side.

More impressive still, is that all of Jankowski’s 5-on-5 points are either goals or primary assists, meaning when you cut out secondary assists Jankowski actually moves up to fourth on the Flames in even-strength production, and he’s doing that with an on-ice shooting percentage of just 7.76 per cent.

Jankowski is currently only getting about five seconds of power-play time per game, so the focus on even-strength play makes even more sense, and we can break down the kinds of plays he makes that are leading to offence.

As you might guess from his stat line, so far Jankowski’s passing game hasn’t translated to the NHL nearly as well as his shooting has. Only Ferland on the Flames has produced more high-danger scoring chances per minute played than Jankowski, who in fact ranks just outside the top 10 in the NHL in producing those chances.

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"I wrote an email to a bunch of NCAA teams this past summer and I told them that he was going to win all the New from @AndrewBerkshire: Why # Flames rookie Mark Jankowski looks like he ' s here to Athlete @jack_lyons79 putting in early AM work - always looking for ways to improve his game

Calgary Flames . Ups and downs dot Jankowski ' s rookie NHL season. Good for Flames ' soul. If you’ve written off Mark Jankowski — like , perhaps, you’ve done once or twice since his draft year in 2012 — hang on a minute. “It’ s hard to get here , and it’ s harder to stay .

And unlike Ferland, Jankowski doesn’t have Gaudreau to set him up regularly, so you’ve got to give him some extra credit. He does have Jagr though, who has a history of helping young players drastically improve their games; just look at Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov in Florida.

Jankowski ranks third on the Flames in scoring chances on net per minute, and is tied for first in overall scoring chances with Matthew Tkachuk, with Ferland right behind. That gives the Flames three players with three scoring chances or more per 20 minutes played at 5-on-5 hockey, and they’re all on different lines. That’s a balanced attack that not many teams can claim, with three Flames forwards in the top 20 even-strength scoring chance producers league-wide.

Jankowski has also been a high-event player without the puck, leading the Flames in both loose-puck recoveries and successful defensive plays, stripping possession from opponents constantly.

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That defensive awareness and aggressiveness has given the Flames coaching staff the confidence to use Jankowski sparingly on the penalty kill, about 27 seconds per game, and should lead to increased responsibility as the season wears on.

Most rookies struggle a bit defensively, and Jankowski is no exception there as he has higher than average turnover rates in each zone, but his ability to get the puck back is a huge advantage for his team, and it’s relatively rare for one player to be either leading or top two in loose-puck recoveries in every zone.

His puck-winning ability in the defensive zone truly stands out as well, and is a great sign if the Flames want to keep him at centre long term.

Jankowski isn’t about to be Patrice Bergeron, but his two-way play is very strong for a player on a third line, and gives the normally top-heavy Flames a bit of balance that they’ve been without for awhile.

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