Andrew Mangiapane deserves to stay in the NHL

The Calgary Flames have found surprising success in the sixth round of the NHL draft. Last year they selected Mathias Emilio Pettersen who is tearing up the USHL, in 2017 they took D’Artagnan Joly who put up 68 points in 55 games in his draft+1 year, and in 2016 they drafted Matthew Phillips who broke Victoria Royals franchise records for goals, assists, and points in a season last year.

These three players were huge wins for the Flames late in the draft, but arguably the best sixth rounder the Flames drafted in recent years is Andrew Mangiapane. Not a large player, just 5′ 10″ and 184 pounds, Mangiapane was passed over by every NHL team multiple times in the 2015 draft despite amassing 104 points in 68 games for the Barrie Colts of the OHL in his draft year. The Flames finally decided to take him 166th overall, and he’s done nothing but reward them for that decision ever since.

Following his draft year, Mangiapane put up 51 goals and 106 points in just 59 games for the Colts, and added another 21 points in 15 playoff games. He finished second in the OHL in goals and sixth in points, and following the conclusion of the OHL regular season, the Flames signed him to an entry level contract.

After the Colts were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals, Mangiapane has put together a very impressive professional resume with the Stockton Heat. In his first season, he put up 21 goals and 41 points in 66 AHL games, but followed that up with a monster second season that saw him amass 21 goals and 46 points in just 39 games. He finished second in points per game in the AHL behind now teammate Austin Czarnik. He made a big enough impression to get a 10 game stint in the NHL last season, but he didn’t score any points, likely due in part to playing in a weak bottom-six.

This season, Mangiapane didn’t make the Flames out of training camp, but after a few injuries to key players, he’s been given a chance to prove himself at the NHL level again. And this time, he has more than impressed. Through six games this season, Mangiapane hasn’t just done enough to prove he belongs at the NHL level, he probably deserves more ice time and a larger role based on his results thus far.

In terms of usage, Mangiapane has played most frequently in the bottom six on the left wing with Mark Jankowski and James Neal. Both Jankowski and Neal have more NHL experience than Mangiapane, Neal being the obvious veteran on the line, but Mangiapane is very much the “baby” of the line. However, looking into his offensive chance production, a few interesting trends have emerged.

Looking at his line’s share of shots and chances over the past six games, Mangiapane jumps out as one of the drivers of the line.

Player iCF iSCF iHDCF
Andrew Mangiapane 13 7 3
Mark Jankowski 12 4 2
James Neal 17 7 5

Disclaimer: the line itself hasn’t been all that great. As well, the variance between players has a contextual asterisk. When Neal plays outside of this line, he moves up the lineup to play on the second or first line, whereas Mangiapane and Jankowski move down to the fourth line instead. Neal has the best opportunity of the three to increase his shot rates as a result. That being said, Mangiapane has done a pretty good job keeping pace with his linemates. He ranks second in individual CF events, first in SCF, and second in HDCF. It’s not like he’s just along for the ride with Jankowski and Neal; Mangiapane has done well at generating offense himself and has been a big reason for the chances this line has created. What’s even more impressive is Mangiapane’s share of chances. Out of all CF, SCF, and HDCF events that each of these players has been on the ice for, Mangiapane has personally accounted for more than his fair share.

Player iCF% iSCF% iHDCF%
Andrew Mangiapane 20.97 35.00 33.33
Mark Jankowski 22.22 19.05 22.22
James Neal 21.79 23.33 31.25

Note: iCF% = iCF/CF*100%

Mangiapane is third in iCF% (all three are close), but first in iSCF%, and first in iHDCF%. He’s the player that has accounted for the highest percentage of scoring chances and high danger chances on his line and he’s the player who is generating the best looks. (It’s concerning that Jankowski, who scored 17 goals last year and is supposed to be trending towards 2C status for the Flames is generating the least amount of chances, but that’s another topic for another time.)

Looking at the whole team though, does Mangiapane’s share of chances stack up to the top players like Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Matthew Tkachuk? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Out of all players who played in the past six games, Mangiapane has kept pace with the best of the best.

Past 6 Games iCF% Rank iSCF% Rank iHDCF% Rank
Andrew Mangiapane 7 3 4

Out of all chances he’s been on the ice for, Mangiapane ranks in the top 4 for individual contributions of SCF and HDCF among all Flames players over the past six games. So far in his limited playing time, Mangiapane is the one that has driven his line. Even expanding this evaluation to entire season results, Mangiapane is more than keeping his head above water.

Whole Season iCF% Rank iSCF% Rank iHDCF% Rank
Andrew Mangiapane 11 2 5

Out of all players with at least six games played, he ranks in the top 11 in all three statistics; top 5 in SCF and HDCF. And, that’s all with posting the second worst PDO on the team at 0.963. He’s been an effective player for the Flames this season, granted in a limited sample size, but the results so far are very promising. He’s due for a luck shift and more entries in the scoresheet.

Mangiapane’s specialty is putting up points. He’s done it at every level of hockey he’s played, with the exception of the NHL so far. It’s clear that he’s generating the chances to score, but he just hasn’t gotten the results yet. He’s been arguably the most effective player on his line through six games, and he probably deserves a long look at the NHL level. Stay tuned into Mangiapane, his luck could change as early as Saturday night against Minnesota.

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