#12 Andrew Mangiapane
Team: Barrie Colts
Drafted: 166th Overall in 2015 (Round 6)
We’ve reached the top half of our Top 25 Under 25. At #12 is one of the most exciting prospects in the Flames organization, Andrew Mangiapane. An undersized, late bloomer with high-end skill, Mangiapane has been an absolutely dominant junior player the past couple of seasons and has the potential to carry that over to the professional level.
A member of the Barrie Colts, Andrew Mangiapane went undrafted in his first eligible year, the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He was coming off a season in which he posted 51 points in 64 games. Respectable numbers, but not enough for teams to use a draft pick on an undersized player. However, everything changed for Mangiapane the following season. He had a break through season, posting 43 goals and 61 assists for 104 points in 68 games. He had played himself into contention of being selected in his second go around at the NHL Entry Draft in 2015. While he still had to wait awhile to hear his name called, the Flames selected him in the 6th round, 166th overall (the same spot Theo Fleury was selected). So what did Mangiapane do after being selected? He scored even more. Playing in just 59 games, he posted 51 goals and 55 assists for Barrie. He was highly regarded in the OHL among league coaches, as his name was brought up many times in the leagues’ coaches poll for Eastern Conference players. He finished first in voting for the categories of most underrated player, best skater and best shootout shooter. He also ended up a Second Team All Star on LW at the end of the year (Matthew Tkachuk was First Team LW). Getting that kind of recognition, to go along with his tremendous counting stats, makes for a very intriguing prospect.
Mangiapane is a player Flames fans should be keeping an eye on, because he has the potential to make a big impact. At five-foot-10, 182 pounds, he is not going to be running players over. However, he plays with more of an edge than his organizational undersized comparable, Johnny Gaudreau. He goes to the tough areas and if teams play him rough, he will strike back. These components set him up for the ability to have success at the NHL level. How well he does as a professional remains to be seen, but Mangiapane has been continually underrated and underestimated, so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He is not going to top out as a Johnny Gaudreau because Gaudreau is an elite talent, but Mangiapane has the chance to be a point producer in the NHL. His floor is likely closer to the caliber of Paul Byron, which has enough value in itself.
No matter what happens, the fact the Flames were able to select a player as talented and offensively prolific as Mangiapane with a 6th round pick, is the sort of gamble teams should be making in the late rounds of the draft every year (see Matthew Phillips, 166th overall in 2016). Yes, the odds are always going to be against the smaller players, but when you have the chance to select a player with a skill level like Mangiapane possesses, that’s the sort of player you just cannot and should not ignore. For now, we get to continue to follow this exciting prospect as he makes the transition to the AHL this upcoming season, and we will see where it goes from there.