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Prospect Of The Week - Mark Jankowski

The Stockton pivot registered five points in four games last week

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson /

Stockton Heat rookie Mark Jankowski continues to roll and with five points in four games last week, he has tied Linden Vey for the team lead in scoring with 23 points on the year.

With eight goals and 15 assists through 26 games, Jankowski is currently sixth in rookie scoring in the American Hockey League.

 "You see ... how he can make plays with puck," Stockton head coach Ryan Huska said in late December. "He has the ability to look people off. They'll go one direction and he'll go the other with the puck. He's got a lot to him and he's a guy who can help us on the offensive side but he's also committed to defending, which is something we like.

"It's a challenge for him now to make sure he's getting better all the time and not getting to that comfortable, complacent stage."

On Dec. 26, Jankowski scored one goal and two points in a 4-3 overtime setback to the San Jose Barracuda.

In the opening period, he pulled his team within a goal after San Jose jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Going in on a 2-on-1 rush with Morgan Klimchuk, his shot beat Barracuda netminder Troy Grosenick high glove side.

"It was a good play by [Morgan] Klimchuk," Jankowski said. "He got on the wall and he saw me in the middle and he was about to pass it. Then he realized there was a guy in between us, so he had good patience and held onto it and just chipped it around him. It hit their guy who was making a change and that kinda slowed it down for me.

"I picked it up right there and I heard [Hunter Shinkaruk] calling for it and I think that got the goalie's attention a little bit. I just tried to do a quick shot and it went in."

He then picked up an assist an Klimchuk's equalizer, which came at the 8:11 mark of the second period. After the game, Huska had plenty of praise for the pair and their linemate, Hunter Shinkaruk.

"I thought that Hunter Shinkaruk, Mark Jankowski and Morgan Klimchuk were good. When we needed a little spark at times, they were the ones that would give us the long shift in the offensive zone.

"I thought the three of them came to play and that's what we need."

He was held pointless in the Heat's following two games - a 4-1 loss to the Tucson Roadrunners on Dec. 28 and a 4-1 setback to the Ontario Reign on Dec. 30 - but wrapped up 2016 with a three-point effort on Dec. 31.

In the Heat's 5-4 overtime loss to the Reign on Saturday, Jankowski netted one goal and three points and was named the game's third star.

He assisted on a pair of Andrew Mangiapane power play goals in the opening 40 minutes and added Stockton's fourth goal of the night in the second period. The goal, which came at 15:31 in the middle stanza, came after Jankowski took the puck high in the slot and was able to fool goalie Jack Campbell with a deke, flipping the puck high over his glove.

Jankowski and the Heat are back in action this week, hosting the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday and the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday.

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