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A 2 Part Series: Andrew Mangiapane vs Dillon Dube

Last night was an exciting one for us Flames fans. Not only did Markstrom give us a taste of what may be in store for us over the next 6 years, but both Mang and Dube showed a glimpse of why they could end up being some of the most important Flames in the years to come.


This led me to think about how these players compare, not only at the pro level, but during there time as Flames prospects as well. This being because Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube have a lot in common. They both have a small stature, similar illustrious junior careers, AHL success, and even relatively similar play styles. However, for some reason many fans of the Flames organization seem to value the potential of these two hockey players at very different levels.


In a two part series with Taranjot Vining, we will compare and contrast the history, success, and potential of these two players in order to create a more up to date understanding of the particular value of these two players.


Today, I will cover everything up until the beginning of both players NHL careers. To do this I will consult concrete statistics as well as an analytical model in order to establish the realistic pedigree of each player, prior to there different levels of NHL success.


Andrew Mangiapane:

Andrew Mangiapane

Mangiapanes route to becoming an NHL regular was slightly an unorthodox one. After going undrafted in the 2012 OHL priority draft, Andrew left the GTHLs Missisauga Senators, and had an excellent midget season with the Toronto Jr. Canadians. This outburst of scoring led to a contract with the Barrie Colts whom Andrew played for during the entierty of his OHL career. Despite finding his way onto the OHL all rookie team, Mangiapanes limited experience led him to go undrafted in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Despite going undrafted once again, Mangiapane took his career to new heights scoring 104 points in only 64 games in his second year with the Colts. This scoring bump, led the Flames that we know and love to use the historically efficient 166th overall pick on Andrew eat bread. Mangiapane more than exceeded expectations in the following year scoring 106 points, before turning pro in time for the 2016-17 hockey season. In the AHL he saw a heavy uptick in points going from 41 points in 66 games to 46 in 39. Before he finally recieved consistent NHL playing time beginning in the latter half of the 2018-19 NHL Season.


Dillon Dube:

Dillon Dube, Canada, World Juniors

Dube on the otherhand, had a much more typical route to the NHL. After being drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 WHL Entry Draft, Dillon saw a steady increase in points through four seasons with the Kelowna Rockets (27 in in 45, 66 in 65, 55 in 40 84 in 53). While these numbers werent as gaudy as Mangiapanes, Dube was one of the youngest members of his draft class, so his point per game pace in his sophmore season, was just that much more impressive. His great year in 2015-16 impressed NHL scouts enough to lead the Flames to use the 56th overall selection on him in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft (Thank you Kris Russell Trade). Due to Dillons July birthday, he was able to make a name for himself on the international stage. Dube was apart of both the 2017 and 2018 Canadian world junior squads, where he captained the 2018 team to gold.


When Dube finally did turn pro, he impressed the Flames mangement enough in training camp to warrant a 25 game tryout at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. However, if you all rememeber right, his strength and in-experience led him to be tossed around the ice and suffer minor injuries throughout the start of that season. (Here's a link to that hit by Gudbranson, on Dube's first shift if any of you guys are interested. Following his brief stint in the NHL, Dube spent the remainder of the season in Stockton. Taking the league by storm scoring 39 points in only 37 games. Last season, Dube earned his final callup from Stockton after only 6 games and has stuck ever since.


NHLe and Prospect Projections:

A really good method we see today in judging prospects is by looking at the NHLe associated with a player. This stat is used to take into account things such as desirable/non-desirable situation, 5v5 scoring, primary points, deployment etc. One model in particular that does a really good job in isolating an effective progression pattern in prospects is Byron Baders hockey prospecting tool.

There's a lot to be taken by this graphic, so lets investigate season by season for these two players.


In there draft -1 seasons, Dube had a less than ideal year for the Kelowna Rockets scoring a mere 27 points. Mangiapane on the otherhand did not even see consistent playing time at the Junior A level and in turn spent his midget season with the U-18 AAA Toronto Jr. Canadians.


The following year Dube scored at a point per game pace in the WHL, whereas Mangiapane scored just under that in an arguable more competitive Ontario Hockey League. Despite almost identical frames in terms of size, Mangiapanes limited experience in the OHL led him to be passed on in the draft, where Dube was taken in the second round.


While all this was happening at different times, it is imortant to note that while Dube was a late birthday in terms of the draft (July), Mangiapane is an (April) birthday, and I am sure many teams are kicking themselves for passing over him in not 1 but two drafts.


In there draft +1 years, Mangiapane was the one who took the major step. While Dube saw world junior action and even a few AHL games to close the season, Dube scored at a 1.37 per game pace in comparison to Mangiapanes 1.52 points per game. As previously stated this is why Mangiapane earned himself a draft selection in his second year of elgibility; and by consulting Byrons model, the visible jump in progression by Mangiapane is something fans drool over when looking at a prospects potential.


Neither player took major jumps in there D+2 years, perhaps due to the limited opportunity for notable progression playing as an overager at the junior level (What I mean by this is, they really didn't have much more to accomplish from a statistical standpoint). Flames fans however did get to see a lot of Dube in his D+2 year with his World Junior role and 6 game stint with the Flames AHL affiliate.


The first real dominant change in Byrons model was in both players D+3 years when they turned pro with the Flames organization. They definitely had opposite paths of opportunity when it came to that season. Dube started his season with the pro-club skating on a line with Derek Ryan, and James Neal. After his demotion he still saw a ton of success playing in a priority role with the heat. Mangiapane on the other hand did not see any time with the Flames big club until 2017-18 in which he saw a limited 10 games of action.


Following Dube' s D+3 year he saw a full time promotion to the Flames in 2019-2020 playing in 45 of Calagrys 70 games, where Mangiapane on the other hand reached the NHL full time in the latter half of his D+5 season in 2018-2019 playing in 44 of the Flames 82 games

Baders model also looks at players star/nhler probabilities. With Mangiapane on the left and Dube on the right. We can see here that while Mangiapane made some serious traction following his draft year. Dube has continually looked like the better prospect.


Now while these players are of similar stature, they have seen much different roles and opportunity with Calgarys pro club. Mangiapane bounced around a bottom 6 role before earning a job on the flank of Calgarys main defensive center Michael Backlund last season. Where Dube saw similar deployment before finding his way onto the newly constructed first line of Tkachuk - Lindholm -Dube to start this seaon.


Now the main point of this series is to reflect upon whether Dube has earned his new role over Mangiapane. Andrew got more minutes in the opener against Winnipeg, but again on a line with much less dynamic talents. As pointed out in Baders model as well as in international success, Dube surely had the more illustrious junior/AHL career. However, next week Taranjot will be looking at the players underlying performances at the NHL level. This will be done in order to determine whether or not Dube should continue to see that high draft pick preferential treatment; or whether its time that Geoff Ward takes the leash off of Andrew Mangiapane.


Thanks for reading and let me know what you guys think! Is Captain Canada Dillon Dube a star in the making? Or should Mangiapane be seeing that top 6 ice time instead? Would you consider having Mangiapane on the right side of Gaudreau and Monahan? Let me know in the comments.


All stats recieved from Hockey-Reference.com. Thanks Byron for letting us share your model!!

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