With the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning almost here, the Nashville Predators are having to make roster subtractions down to 23 players.
Jankowski skated in 50 games for the Predators last season and currently has one year remaining on his contract with a $775,000 AAV that was signed in March 2023.
The Predators are making this move after picking up Samuel Fagemo on waivers earlier this week, and have to make room on the roster for him along with the other younger talent that they have playing in Milwaukee.
Jankowski’s Career So Far
One thing about Jankowski is he has potentially already had his best seasons in the NHL. During the 2018-19 season with the Calgary Flames, Jankowski had 14 goals and 18 assists, good enough for 32 points in his 79 games played. That was by far the best season of his career when you look deeper than just points.
Jankowski showed discipline that season, only committing six minor penalties and finished a +6, while winning 52 percent of his faceoffs.
Jankowski also spent time in Pittsburgh and Buffalo before finding himself putting on a beloved Predators sweater.
While short lived, Jankowski was a well-rounded player for the Predators. He is not the type of player to go out and score a ton of goals, but he is a serviceable bottom-six veteran who can get goals and do other important things. Including his three shorthanded goals.
Add that to his 55.7% success rate in the faceoff circle, it is likely that a team looking to add a low-cost center to their third or fourth line will claim him.
Jankowski also plays a solid two-way game having a good defensive mindset. Finishing a -1 in the +/- column is pretty decent playing on a Predators team that struggled scoring goals on most nights.
Nashville Predators Roster Changes
Like I previously mentioned, this move is more than likely strictly a business move. The Predators have players such as Fagemo, Philip Tomasino, Juuso Parssinen, Luke Evangelista, Egor Afanasyev, and Joakim Kemell, just to name a few, in the pipeline that there has to be room for when the time comes.
While these players are young and may not have the 322 career games NHL experience of Jankowski, they all have the ability to score more goals and become a well-rounded NHL’er in the very near future.
And let’s face it, as a hockey team in the NHL your primary objective is to score as many goals and win as many games as possible.
The Predators front office is definitely hoping that Jankowski goes unclaimed and they can keep him in Milwaukee. He’s a viable player to call-up later on if needed, but he was the odd man out after claiming Fagemo and with a rising prospect pool.