From undrafted in his first year of eligibility to being selected at 166th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft to World Champion and MVP to Olympic hopeful, the last six years have been an incredible rise to prominence for Calgary Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane. Building off his previous campaigns, he is off to a blazing start this season with seven goals in eight games and has been instrumental in Calgary’s strong play.
According to a report by Chris Johnston of The Star, the 25-year-old Bolton, Ontario native, was included on Canada’s Olympic long list. (from “Inside the NHL: Defining day for the NHLPA, early surprises and an under-the-radar Olympic candidate,” The Star, 11/01/21) Johnston goes on to explain that, as per his sources, an exceptional showing at the IIHF World Hockey Championship this past summer, where he was named tournament MVP, placed Mangiapane on the radar of the Team Canada’s Olympic brass. While he is certainly a dark horse and long shot, the shifty Flames forward certainly is deserving of the accolades and honour of even being considered for such a team.
MVP Performance at the World Hockey Championship
Following a disappointing end to the Flames’ season, many in Calgary were eager to see how Mangiapane would fare after heading to Latvia to represent Canada in the IIHF World Championship. Unfamiliar to the average hockey fan, anyone who had followed the Flames for an extended period of time knew how good Mangiapane really was and could be. He proved that quickly and forthrightly, leading the Canadians to a gold medal.
Mangiapane joined the team following an 0-3 start and instantly led a turnaround that ultimately resulted in a championship. The former Barrie Colt earned top-line duties and amassed seven goals and 11 points in seven games with Team Canada. His impact was enormous. Mangiapane was the overtime hero against the Russians, scored another game-winner in the semifinals, and was named tournament MVP.
Heading into the international championship series, the cries of “Andrew Mangia-who?” were quickly turned into “Andrew Mangiapane, that’s who.” However, while this was news to many new Mangiapane fans, those who have watched him play over the last three years knew just how good he could be.
Mangiapane Has Been a Top Player for Calgary for Years
While his MVP performance may have been a surprise to the hockey world at large, it certainly wasn’t for Flames fans and analysts. Mangiapane’s two-way, multi-tool game has been on full display for the last three seasons in Calgary. He worked his way up the Flames roster to become one of the top guns in Calgary’s offence.
Back in 2018-19, alongside Derek Ryan and Garnet Hathaway, Mangiapane skated on one of the most impactful and dominant bottom-six lines in recent memory. In a year where the Flames won the Western Conference, the team was often carried at even strength by the fantastic trio.
|Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Season||GP||GF%||xGF%||SF%||CF%|
|Andrew Mangiapane||Derek Ryan||Garnet Hathaway||18-19||36||88.24||64.6||60.36||56.64|
|Matthew Tkachuk||Michael Frolik||Mikael Backlund||18-19||49||66.64||58.08||60.42||59.27|
|Elias Lindholm||Johnny Gaudreau||Sean Monahan||18-19||77||58.86||55.04||53.72||54.74|
Mangiapane’s strong even-strength play driving results are just the tip of the iceberg. He has been one of the most dangerous and opportunistic goal-scorers over the last three NHL seasons. Among players who have played a minimum of 1500 minutes since 2019, Mangiapane ranks ninth league-wide in goals per 60 minutes.
He has been the Flames’ most productive, impactful five-on-five skater over the last two seasons. He is one of the strongest two-way players in the game and should undoubtedly receive consideration for the Selke trophy this season, especially if the goal-scoring pace remains strong.
To put his even-strength prowess into perspective, the only Canadian-born skaters who have more five-on-five goals than Mangiapane since 2019 are Connor McDavid and Brad Marchand.
|1. Connor McDavid||19-21||127||16:40||42|
|2. Brad Marchand||19-21||130||13:12||38|
|3. Andrew Mangiapane||19-21||132||12:42||35|
|4. Brayden Point||19-21||130||14:05||33|
|5. Sam Reinhart||19-21||132||15:31||32|
|6. Tyler Toffoli||19-21||130||13:00||31|
|7. Brendan Gallagher||19-21||103||13:19||30|
|8. Adam Henrique||19-21||126||12:56||29|
|9. Jonathan Huberdeau||19-21||133||13:26||29|
|10. Mathew Barzal||19-21||130||15:35||29|
Mangiapane has long been criminally underrated in spite of his incredible skill set, attitude, and work ethic. While he certainly is a long shot to make an Olympic hockey team, the former sixth-round pick is finally getting the respect he deserves around the league and in the hockey world at large.
The Flames are currently off to their best start in decades, and Mangiapane has been a primary driver for the team. He is in need of a shiny new contract this summer, and to be listed on the long list of a stacked Team Canada is no small feat and certainly a major feather in his cap. Not bad for a guy who was passed up in his first year of draft eligibility and fell to 166th overall. He deserves a payday in the NHL and undoubtedly has earned Olympic consideration.
Michael Wilson is a born and raised Calgarian covering the Flames for THW.