CALGARY, AB -- While Providence College Friars head coach Nate Leaman is satisfied with freshman Mark Jankowski's offensive output through the opening month and a half of the 2012-13 season, he's been particularly impressed with the 18 year-old's presence in the offensive zone.
"Overall, with Mark, I think the transition has been very good. He's made a lot of plays. He has four goals, one being a game-winner, but if you look at the chances that he's had ... he's averaging somewhere between four and five Grade-A scoring chances a game ... the finishing, it's going to come. That's part of the transition to this level.
"If I had to give him a grade, I'd give him a B. He's done a very good job."
Jankowski himself has been very pleased with his first month and a half in Rhode Island, crediting the coaching staff for making the leap from Stanstead College to Providence a relatively smooth affair.
"I've loved every minute of it so far, both the college aspect and the hockey," he told CalgaryFlames.com. "We've had a pretty good start here but we want to pick it up. Everyone has been really great and I think we have a really great team here.
"The whole coaching staff has been really amazing since I've been here. They really push you hard in practice and that's only good for you. It only makes you better. That's what we're looking for - to get better every day in practice."
Through his first 10 games of the season, Jankowski has recorded 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists) and is tied for second in team scoring with sophomore Ross Mauermann. He has two multi-point games this year, including a two-goal performance in his debut with the Friars on Oct. 12.
One factor playing into Jankowski's success with the Friars is his continued physical maturation.
When the Hamilton, ON product entered the Flames development camp in July, the only word to describe his frame was lanky. Standing at 6-foot-3, Jankowski weighed approximately 170 lbs. Knowing he would be squaring off against much larger players from that point forward, the pivot spent a considerable amount of his time in the gym this summer looking to bulk up.
That strength training regimen continued at Providence and Leaman has noticed a drastic change in his first month and half with the Friars.
"He's now 182 lbs. and he's been holding that season. He's adding weight. He's working hard on his strength. That's a big plus, that's a great gain.
"His game is only going to get better. He's grown an inch, I think, in the past six months also. He's still growing."
Another aspect aiding in the transition to the NCAA is Jankowski's hockey sense. Flames assistant general manager John Weisbrod has praised the forward's intelligence numerous times since the team drafted him and that hockey IQ makes adjusting to the speed of the game a bit easier.
"Everything happens so much quicker," Jankowski explained. "As soon as you get the puck, you have to know what you're doing with it right away. That's the main thing. Everything happens so much quicker and your decisions have to be made a lot faster."
The Flames selected Jankowski in the first round (21st overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft. He spent the 2011-12 season with the Stanstead College Spartans, posting 53 goals and 93 points through 57 games.
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