The force is strong in the young one. (Photo courtesy of James Rioux - Stanstead College)
The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.
The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).
However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.
So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.
So without further ado:
Introducing our 2012 NHL #28 Draft Prospect - Mark Jankowski
Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2012 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.
Center / Stanstead College
Jan 24 1994
|2011/12 - Stanstead College (HIGH-QC)
Accomplishments & Awards:
Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?)
Summarized Scouting Report
He’s a raw talent who skates well and is a good playmaker ... skating is fast, quick and agile ... a rangy skater with a long, smooth stride ... superb natural athleticism and balance ... size and reach are big assets ... not afraid to get physical ... has a deadly accurate shot ... super soft, quick hands ... one of the best distributors of the puck I've seen ... can also put the puck in the net ... great vision and awareness ... is able to make plays that very few can ... high-end hockey sense ... a two-way player who's good in his own zone ... has an ease to his game yet is very determined and competitive ... very unselfish
Jankowski is the rawest of raw products in this draft ... his inexperience shows up is that he doesn't understand positioning or what it takes to compete hard every shift ... needs to fill out and get stronger ... difficulty involved in projecting players who have performed at the very lowest competition levels
Top six two-way forward
Where Does He Fit In The Wild?
The Wild need a guy with slick hands but do they need a raw prospect like Jankowski?
No one knew who Jankowski was at the beginning of the season, some still don't know.
Jankowski is an extremely raw prospect that plays in an unknown league of low caliber competition, but he still displays an interesting skillset and high potential ceiling. Jankowski is a smooth skating forward that possesses great hands, great on-ice vision and great playmaking abilities. He has a good frame that he is still filling out and will only get better as he gets stronger and more mature.
The biggest problem with Jankowski is the level he is playing at. He is playing in a Canadian prep school, which is probably the lowest possible level of competition out there (I know you can probably find worse, but you get my drift). He dominated his league, as expected, but can he survive USHL, NCAA, and finally the NHL?
With the lack of high potential forwards in this year's draft, some team picking near the end of the first might like to take the gamble. Jankowski has great upside with great tools that would make magic on an NHL team, the question is whether he can adapt to tougher competition appropriately. Seeing as he is just coming out of Canadian prep, he will need tons of time to slowly develop.
Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Report
Update 6/15/2012 from BReynolds:
I spoke to the PR team at Stanstead, and they would like to point a few facts out about their program-
- Stanstead has had 6 DI NCAA commitments in the past 3 years. When Mark was in grade 11, last year, our entire top line received scholarships at Maine University.
- The best freshman a Clarkson this year was a Stanstead grad in 2010, Samuel Labrecque.
- Our leading scorer before Mark arrived led the CJHL in scoring this year and is off to Ferris State next year. They lost to BC in the finals of the Frozen Four.
- My team is made up of 16-17 year old kids with a few 18 year olds. I think it's safe to say we should be below Major Junior teams and Junior A levels of play since our kids are younger.
The conversation I had with them makes me hope (for the Wild's sake) that Jankowski somehow falls to them in the second round, or Fletcher can pull of a trade to add a late first. There is a great story here, both on the kid, and the program. Keep your eye on both Jankowski and Stanstead.