AMERKS EXCITED ABOUT THE ADDITION OF JANKOWSKIOct 21, 2021
By Suzie Cool
Rochester Americans head coach Seth Appert is adamant about continuing to culminate the right group of leadership to help create a positive and contagious culture within the locker room.
The second-year head coach has said time and time again that he wants the Amerks to be a physically demanding team to play against, that they need to make the game miserable on their opponents and that his leadership core needs to be the culture drivers that are setting this tone.
With the official announcement of Rochester signing forward Mark Jankowski to a one-year AHL deal for the 2020-21 season earlier this week, it seems Appert has one more leader to help establish the identity he’s looking for.
“He’s a really good hockey player, I mean, he’s played over 200 games in the National Hockey League.”
Appert then went on about Jankowski saying, “He’s had seasons in the NHL where he’s scored over 30 points, he’s almost a point a game player in the American League and he’s a big strong guy who has high character and high work ethic.”
Originally drafted by the Calgary Flames in the first round (21st overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Jankowski comes to the Amerks after spending last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he recorded four goals and seven assists for 11 points in 45 games.
WATCH: MARK JANKOWSKI FOLLOWING THURSDAY'S PRACTICE
Prior to joining the Penguins, the 27-year-old spent his first five years as a pro between the Flames and Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate. In 253 career NHL games with the Penguins and Flames, Jankowski produced 75 points (40+35) while also notching 70 points (34+36) in 78 games at the AHL level.
“In the last number of years, I’ve been able to play a lot of games in the NHL,” stated Jankowski when asked what he plans to bring to the table in his first year back in the AHL since his rookie season in 2016-17 with Stockton.
Jankowski then went on to add, “the last time I was in the AHL I was obviously a rookie and a new guy, so being a little bit older and having that experience to be able to have that calming influence on the younger guys, lead by example, show them how to be a pro, how to work hard every day and go from there.”
His best season actually came during his rookie campaign with the Heat when he led all AHL rookies with 27 goals and ranked second with 56 points in his first full year as a pro. For his efforts, Jankowski was named a 2017 AHL All-Star before earning a selection to that year’s AHL All-Rookie Team.
Prior to turning pro, Jankowski spent four years at Providence College, where he amassed 110 points on 43 goals and 67 assists in 148 games from 2012 to 2016. After helping the Friars claim their first NCAA Championship in 2015, Jankowski finished up his collegiate career leading Providence in both assists with 25 and his points totaling to while his 15 goals tied for the team-lead in 38 games as a senior in 2015-16.
Knowing that Appert is more than excited to have another player with ample time in both the AHL and NHL, it comes as no surprise that he’s already heavily communicated with Jankowski on what exactly he wants the forward to bring to his roster.
“I’ve already had a lot of communication with him. On the phone before I even got here, a lot of communication, and then today as well we did some video to show me the systems and how we want to play.”
Jankowski then mentioned what Appert has already communicated with him about his game.
“He kind of just said, ‘go and play your game, we know how you play and we wanted to bring you in here for what you can bring, so just go and relax out there and play your game.’”