Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Q&A With 2012 Draft Prospect Mark Jankowski of Providence College

Mark Jankowski is 2012 Draft Prospect who is likely to go in the first 2 rounds on Friday,June.22nd's Draft.

PuckCentral: How do you think the season went for you? and your team?
Mark Jankowski: I think this past season went very well. We had a very good tea,, winning the St. Andrews MacPhereson tournament, and it also making it to the finals of many more. We accomplished a lot as a team and overall the season was successful. Personally, I thought my season went well also. I committed to Providence  College which I am very excited about, and I hope to continue my success in the future.

PC: What made you decide to commit to Providence College?
MC: A lot of the decision was based on the coaching staff. Nate Leaman built up the program at Union and i believe he will do the same at Providence and bring the program back to where it used to be. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to play for him and the rest of the coaching staff and can't wait to be a Friar.

PC:  You have a very unique story, or at least for someone who's ranked so high. Could you tell us how you got where you are(Stanstead College)?
MJ: I always felt that the NCAA was the best route for me and my progression, and I knew prep school is a great way to get there, so I started looking around at different schools, and I knew an alumni who went to Stanstead, so I talked with their coach, and skated with their team and visited the school, and I did that with some other schools too, and I felt Stanstead was the best fit for me.

PC: You were passed up in the OHL draft, did that give you any extra motivation, or push to perform well and succeed?
MJ: I'm a competitive guy so I would have liked to been given credit and be drafted as high as possible against my peers, but the motivation has always been there for me too succeed and hopefully one day play in the NHL, ever since I first started playing hockey, that's what I dreamed about, and I haven't let any obstacle, like not getting drafted into the OHL, get in my way of pursuing that goal.

PC: You say you want to go as high as you can against your peers, have you been paying any attention to where you are in mock drafts and rankings? Because you're sort of the "wild card" of this draft going anywhere from first round to 4th round.
MJ: I try not to pay attention to any of it, but its hard when your friends, teammates, and family bring it up and talk about it. But I know that none of those rankings or mock drafts mean anything and I'm not too sure where I'll go. I'd like to go as early as possible, but I'll be happy to get drafted anywhere and it's an honour.

PC:This sort of ties in with the last question but have you been told or are you aware that Craig Button from TSN has you ranked above someone like Mikhail Grigorenko and a few other big name prospects. Does something like that give you any extra confidence?
MJ: Yes I'm aware of his rankings. I always felt that I deserved the recognition and I always had the confidence in my game that eventually I would get noticed, and its nice to get some recognition now, but like I said, I know these rankings and mock drafts don't mean anything, it doesn't matter where I'm ranked or drafted, no matter what I'm going to have to work extremely hard to get where I want to go, which is play in the NHL.

PC: Regardless of where you go. What can "Mark Jankowski" bring to an NHL team?
MJ: I'm a big skilled forward who skates well, has good hands and a good shot. I think my biggest strengths are my vision and hockey sense I like to distribute the puck and get my teammates involved and make the players around me better, and I also like to put the puck in the net as well. I like to pattern my game after Evgeni Malkin. I love how he plays, and he's a big, skilled forward like me. I really look up to him and try to model my play after him.

PC: You'll obviously be jumping to a higher level of hockey next season so how does that effect your offseason training? Will it change at all?
MJ: For the past 3 summers I've trained at The Athlete Training Centre in Mississauga, Ontario with Richard Clark, and he runs an excellent program there and I will be working out again there this summer. I know that to play at the next level, a very important thing for me to work on is getting bigger and stronger, so I will be training and working as hard as I can to improve it.

PC: So growing up what was your favorite team?
MJ: Being from southern Ontario my favourite team has always been the Sabres, and I actually used to have season tickets there too.

PC: Oh that's cool! So with that said who was your favorite player growing up? Outside of Malkin?
MJ: I always loved Maxim Afinogenov when I watched Buffalo, he was a real exciting player to watch.

PC: Seems like you enjoy your Russian players (ha-ha). Normally we ask everyone we interview at the end who they try to model their game after and why but you've already answered that. So Is there anyone other than Malkin that you try to play like or model your game after?
MJ: No not really, I just really like how Malkin plays and I just like to play like him.

PC: Alright well that's all I have for questions! Thanks again for doing this, we really appreciate it!
MJ: Thank you very much, my pleasure.

This interview was conducted via Twitter Direct Message. If you're on twitter you can follow Mark Jankowski at @Janko61. You can also follow us at @PuckCentralHQ.

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