There were five players eligible in this year's NHL draft that scored over 100 points in junior: the next great, and sworn enemy in Connor McDavid, the highly touted third and fourth overall pair of Mitch Marner and Dylan Strome, and overagers Conor Garland and Andrew Mangiapane. The Flames found the last of the bunch in the sixth round, capping off a spectacular draft for the team.
Mangiapane fell because of his overager status and his size (5'10", 170 lbs), even though he put up a respectable amount of points in his draft year, and an amazing amount in his draft +1 year. It's a wonder why no one drafted him before the sixth round, or even in 2014 for that matter. Thanks 29 other NHL teams! To put it in perspective, he scored six more points in his draft year than Bruins draft pick Zach Senyshyn, who was part of the Dougie Hamilton bounty. Thanks Bruins!
|Rank||Player||DOB||Draft||2014-15 team||Vote total|
||04/04/96||166th overall, 2015
||Barrie Colts (OHL)
Mangiapane wasn't drafted in his first year of OHL eligibility, or even his second, but was signed by the Colts after a successful midget AAA season with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens (don't ask why they are using Montreal's team name, Toronto hockey has never made sense). Despite concerns about his height and age, Mangiapane produced well in his draft year. He was the fifth highest scorer on the team and the youngest to score more than 40 points, earning him an OHL first team rookie nod.
History repeated itself for Mangiapane who wasn't selected in the 2014 NHL draft, his height likely being a factor again. How else do you explain teammate Brendan Lemieux going 31st overall despite being one month older and scoring two points more than Mangiapane in three fewer games?
Mangiapane said "feh" to that, and put up a stellar season in 2014-15. He was eighth in OHL scoring, arguably the spark plug on a line with Joseph Blandisi and Kevin Labanc. Those players saw 62 and 72 point jumps in their production, which was way, way above their previous records.
On a team that was projected to not do as well with the absence of Aaron Ekblad, Mangiapane helped drag the Colts back to the OHL playoffs, where they sputtered out to the North Bay Battalion. The bread-eater did his part, coming second in Colts playoff scoring with 10 points in nine games.
For the record, Lemieux only registered 60 points in 57 games this past season.
Despite being heralded as one of the draft's most underrated prospects, Mangiapane kept slipping and slipping until he would up in the Flames' pocket at pick #166.
Strengths and weaknesses
Well obviously, the kid can score. How does he do that? Speed and smarts. He's fast, difficult to contain on the rush, and often finds himself in the right position to create the play. Mangiapane is also very skilled, something that Brad Treliving was focused on in the draft. But don't confuse that as meaning that Mangiapane is a one dimensional player. He saw extensive penalty kill time this year, and is generally regarded as a good two-way player.
Oh, and he's also got a bunch of intangibles. All the times he was skipped over seems to have riled up something inside of him, as opponents and scouts say he's a mean one to play against. He has a never quit mentality in addition to his fearlessness with the puck.
As for weaknesses, it's probably his size. Mangiapane has laughed at everyone who undervalued him because of it (while scoring against them), but it still is a legitimate concern, especially at the highest level of the game. I'm not saying that he will be a failure in the league because of it, but it can still hamper his production in the NHL.
Future role with the Flames
He's going to be back with Barrie to begin the year, and could see a trade to one of the OHL's bigger teams (London Knights, Sault Saint Marie Greyhounds) for a Memorial Cup run. If those dreams should fail to pan out, he'll most likely join Stockton for the AHL playoffs and remain there for maybe a maximum of two years. I feel his potential could creep up to a second line left winger, which isn't bad at all for a sixth round pick. Otherwise, he could be an effective bottom six player. He's a sixth round success either way.
Expectations for 2015-16
He should put up an absurd number of points again in the OHL and make other GMs wonder why they didn't take him earlier.