Mark Jankowski has Been an Unsung Hero During Nashville Predators' Recent Surge

Mar 26, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators center Mark Jankowski (17) celebrates
Mar 26, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators center Mark Jankowski (17) celebrates / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The 18-game point streak for the Nashville Predators has unfortunately come to an end, as they lost 8-4 to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night. It is a tough look to lose that badly to a team already eliminated from playoff contention, but the insane stretch was never lasting forever, and off nights happen to even the best of the best.

One clunker of a game does not erase the admirable work the Predators have done over the past month-and-a-half, and they are still a hot team until proven otherwise. And to be hot like they have been, you have to have all hands on deck and get contributions from guys you may not ordinarily expect to get them from.

One of those guys is Mark Jankowski, who has quietly become a reliable source of secondary scoring for the Predators during this time. He will naturally go under the radar because he has played most of the year in the AHL and is no superstar or member of the exciting youth, but he has only done good things when he is on the ice.

Mark Jankowski has been a model of consistency for Nashville Predators

The most notable thing when looking at Jankowski's 2023-24 campaign is that he is on a career pace for points in a season. With 12 of them in 23 games played, he is producing over a half point per game, which he has never accomplished before.

With himself and others on the Predators outperforming expectations this season, it only fuels Andrew Brunette's case for the Jack Adams Trophy. And in Jankowski's case, there are other pieces of evidence that he has been playing well this year.

He has slotted perfectly on a line with Tommy Novak and Luke Evangelista, and the three of them have developed great chemistry over the past six weeks. Jankowski has not been the guy to create plays or drive the offense for this line, but he has done very well in his role, which has been as a net front presence and scoring goals that way.

He has also been strong neutralizing the opposing offense, which is no surprise because one of his best attributes has been being a two-way player. The Predators have made a killing during their hot streak off of winning puck battles and being relentless on the boards, and Jankowski has helped make them tough to play against in that regard.

While he is far from a complete player, the underlying stats show that he has been effective in the two areas that have been most noticeable on the ice: defense and finishing chances. They also show that this has been a very strong offensive year by his standards, confirming that it has been one of if not his best ever season in the NHL.


Not only is he improving in his own right, but he is standing out in multiple areas as some of the best on the entire Predators team. More metrics show that he is currently at least top 10 in expected goals per 60 minutes, goals per 60 minutes, shots on goal per 60 minutes, shot attempts per 60 minutes, and shooting percentage.

He is getting to the right places at the right times and doing a great job to finish the opportunities he gets, and his reliability in such situations is elevating the team.

Now one player alone can only have so much of an impact on team success, but how well the Predators have done with Jankowski in the lineup cannot go unnoticed. With all he is doing to aid the team on both ends of the ice, the term "glue guy" is a perfect way to describe his impact these days.

Every team needs a guy like Jankowski to be truly well-rounded, and the new contract he received at the Trade Deadline was well deserved. Who knows how long he can keep this up or if he can repeat it next year, but he has been a joy to watch recently and deserves to make a difference in the lineup every night until proven otherwise.