Flames forward Mangiapane aiming for elite and team is not complaining
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The word “elite” can be defined in any number of ways. Whatever definition you choose to use, Mangiapane achieving it in the league would be incredibly good news for the Flames.
A lot has been made about their depth and it’s absolutely true that the additions of guys like Dominik Simon and Josh Leivo have allowed the coaching staff to spread out the team’s most impactful players over a couple of lines.
On paper, the depth is a strength, but it’s probably only going to make a difference in terms of wins-and-losses if their young core players take quantifiable steps forward in their development. Mangiapane is a big part of that.
Last year, he scored 17 goals and added 15 assists. That’s 32 points, and only one of them came on the powerplay. Compare that to first-line centre Sean Monahan, who finished the regular season with 48 points, but with 16 of them coming when the Flames had the man-advantage.
That means that Mangiapane had 31 even-strength points and Monahan had 32. For a player like Mangiapane, who only had 54 games of NHL experience to his name before the 2019-’20 season, to be keeping up with an established top-line centre like Monahan is encouraging, to say the least.
There’s every reason to believe he’s ready to take another leap forward in his development, too. Using the eye-test, Mangiapane has looked more confident than ever with the puck on his stick throughout training camp.
He’s mostly been paired with Mikael Backlund throughout the Flames’ abbreviated pre-season camp and the two connected on a pretty goal late in Monday’s intrasquad game. It was far from Mangiapane’s only highlight on the night and he looked like one of the team’s most dynamic weapons.