The Draft is a week away people...are you excited yet? Let's continue our look at potential 1st round picks for the Rangers with a look at a player some would call the real sleeper in this year's 1st round.
Mark Jankowski is a big (6'2) albeit lanky (175lb) 17-year -old center from Ontario and is in a similar situation to Chris Kreider when he was drafted by the Rangers in 2009. Jankowski is playing in a little known collegiate league in Quebec, where the talent level isn't as high as it would be were he playing in Canadian Major Junior leagues. However, all the scouts are saying that the playmaking center has some of the best offensive instincts of those players available in the draft and can develop into a big playmaking center.
From Corey Pronman's Top 100 Draft Prospects:
36. Mark Jankowski, Center, Stanstead-Quebec Prep
Playing in a pretty obscure league, Jankowski has impressed scouts I've talked to due to his significant growth physically and from a hockey development standpoint over the last year or two. Jankowski is an above-average skater who has a nice fluid look to his movements on top of good agility and top speed, although I should note that not every scout I talked to liked his skating. Jankowski's best asset is his hockey sense, as he's an aware, creative playmaker. He was checked tightly in games this year due to his skill level and the relative low talent level of his peers but he regularly executed above-average distributions and showed the ability to make plays in tight spaces. Jankowski tries to play physical, but despite good size he is not that effective in the physical game due to a significant lack of strength and a beanpole frame. Jankowski has the puck skills and hockey sense to be a noticeable possession player but will need quite a few years of development time. He arguably has first round talent and could be a major sleeper, but due to the fact that I haven't really seen him, I don't feel comfortable putting him that high and this ranking is due to projection uncertainty as much as it is talent assessment.
After the jump a few more thoughts on Jankowski and whether the Rangers should draft him.
A lot of people like Jankowski to be a solid top 6 playmaker or two way forward. Either way, I think it would be a coup if the Rangers got him this soon in the draft.
From the Hockey Writers:
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
So as you can see...a decent sized center with above average vision and passing. A player the Rangers would love to have in their system.
What do you think guys? Would you want the young Jankowski in the 1st round?