July 30, 2012

Jankowski will join Friars in fall

By Jesse Connolly

After initially planning on spending a year with the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL, Flames draftee Mark Jankowski will attend Providence College this fall. 

Forward Mark Jankowski dominated the competition at Stanstead College. (Photo: Stanstead College)

Selected 21st overall by Calgary in June, the Stanstead College product may immediately play a big role for the Friars during his freshman season.

"I think he sees the ice and skates very well and the only real need of improvement is his weight," Providence coach Nate Leaman told reporters after the draft, adding that he felt Jankowski was ready to become the team’s top-line center upon his arrival.

"The one thing I like about Mark is that he makes players around him better. I first saw him when I was a coach at Union [College] and about three months later, when I took the position at Providence, I really started tracking and watching him."

Jankowski, 17, had 93 points and a plus-51 rating in 57 games for Stanstead last season. Central Scouting had him ranked 43rd among North American skaters, but the Flames thought he had too much raw talent to pass up.

"His skill set, hands, vision and skating are really good," Flames director of amateur scouting Tod Button told NHL.com. "We couldn't find a flaw in him except inexperience and the level of competition. We can only judge guys by where they play, right? We liked everything about him and we think he has a real high ceiling to be a real good NHL player."

Goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine), selected in the third round by Calgary, will also be attending Providence in the fall. Gillies went 31-11-9 for the USHL’s Indiana Ice this past season.

The Friars will be looking to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001. 

Fore more on Jankowski, check out Kirk Luedeke's draft profile of the talented center.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.