ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: Fifteenth overall pick Jonathan Miller by the New York Rangers stands onstage for a photo during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
As our pick came closer and closer, the staff here at Blueshirt Banter debated about which players to take as a few of our "first choices" (for full disclosure Jankowski was high on my list, probably at the top of guys the Rangers should look at with the 28th) fell off the board. This is going to be an interesting draft mainly because there are so many higher risk, higher upside picks on the board from about 20-40.
And with the 28th pick in the draft, we felt it was appropriate to take one of those players in Mark Jankowski.
Jankowski has shades of Chris Kreider in his potential selection, fueled by him playing in a lesser-known college prep out of Quebec. Still, in those games he was remarkably dominant (like Kreider).
Join me after the jump for more.
Let's take a look at the raw numbers. In 57 games in the CAHS, Jankowski scored 53 goals and added 40 assists for 93 points. Then in 13 MPHL games he scored 19 goals and 11 assists for 30 points. Known for his brillian on-ice vision, a lethal shot and oozing hockey IQ, Jankowski has all the potential to be the all-aroun, top line monster the Rangers need in their system.
The two flaws in this pick (if you can call them that): Jankowski is young, so his development will take longer than some prospects (again, think Kreider time-frame, maybe longer). The second is the league he plays in. Make no mistake, Jankowski dominated (repeat: dominated) his respective league. But it's a league that is below the OHL, WHL and QMJHL in terms of talent. Still, Jankowski is expected to play at Providence College next year, so the Rangers (or whatever team actually drafts him) will get a good look at him against regular talent soon enough.
Is that enough to take a flier on him? Yes, there are risks to the pick, but at 28 these are the types of players the Rangers should be looking at.
Below are some reviews on Jankowski.
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.
From the Hockey Writers:
First or second line center
- Very good hockey sense and excellent on-ice vision
Intelligent player with good offensive instincts
Patience with the puck and great puck-distribution skills
Surprisingly good defensively
Accurate slap shot and wrist shot
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
- Needs to improve his first few steps and acceleration
Needs to bulk-up (add 15-20 pounds), and strengthen both his upper body and lower body
Needs to improve his face-off skills
Needs to work on the quickness and the release of his shot
So, what do you guys think?