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Flames sign Jankowski, who was ‘very much a project’ when he was drafted

The Calgary Flames have signed forward Mark Jankowski to an entry-level contract. The deal will begin next season. For now, he’ll report to AHL Stockton on an amateur try-out agreement.

Jankowski, 21, just wrapped up his senior season with Providence College. Had he not signed with the Flames he could’ve become a free agent on Aug. 15, a la Jimmy Vesey.

Jankowski was a controversial pick in 2012, when he was announced as Calgary’s 21st overall selection by then-Flames GM Jay Feaster.

“This is right off the board,” said TSN’s Bob McKenzie at the time. “This guy is very much a project.”

But Jankowski had a big fan in then-Calgary assistant GM John Weisbrod, who even compared him to one of the greatest Flames of all time.

“The athleticism. The skating. The hands. The fact that he’ll likely be playing at six-four, 215. I’ve said it to our scouts all week long — he’s Joe Nieuwendyk,” Weisbrod told Postmedia.

Weisbrod is now the assistant GM of the Canucks.

Jankowski had 15 goals and 25 assists in 38 games for the Friars this season.