"I've dreamt of it ever since I could remember ... the first few shifts, it was a little bit surreal." - Mark Jankowski on his #NHL debut— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) November 29, 2016
It finally happened. After what seemed like a lifetime since being drafted, Mark Jankowski made his NHL debut in the Flames 2-1 OT loss to the NY Islanders. Forgetting the stats aspect of it all, Jankowski didn’t look out of place at any time during the game. The same as we thought when Matthew Tkachuk skated with the Flames for the first time, Jankowski looked the part and passed the eye test during his first game. The 6’4 Hamilton, Ontario product logged 10:18 seconds of ice time (3 seconds more than Micheal Ferland) and didn’t have a shot on net. He did situate himself and his large frame in front of the net during his time on the ice and played a good two way game as well.
Jankowski, the 21st pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, has had a great start to his season at AHL Stockton. With the Heat Jankowski had 12 points in 13 games and was a +2 before being called up to Calgary. It’s yet to be seen how long Jankowski’s cup of coffee will be with the Flames, but if his NHL debut was any indication, it doesn’t appear that he’s overwhelmed by the NHL game. I can think of 2 Flames players (Hunter Shinkaruk and Freddie Hamilton) who’s minutes I’d rather see go to Jankowski if the Flames are serious about giving him a solid look. Do I think he stays for months at a time? Probably not. Jankowski has been a good soldier and his start to the AHL season has earned him the chance to come up with the Flames on a limited basis. But who knows, if Mark Jankowski continues to play solid hockey for the Calgary Flames, why should he not steal some minutes here and there to get himself adjusted for his inevitable jump to the NHL?
How do you think Mark Jankowski did in his NHL debut?