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Caledon’s Mangiapane finding his role in Flames organization

October 18, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Written By JAKE COURTEPATTE

Andrew Mangiapane is no stranger to the Calgary Flames ice surface in September.

The Bolton native recently took part in his third preseason training camp with the club, a grueling weeks-long session where NHL teams grind their roster sizes down to just a small sample size compared to day one.

“It’s always such a quick tempo,” said Mangiapane. “Everyone was working hard, and that’s what you want to see…everyone is working for a spot.”

For Mangiapane, that spot was lost, albeit temporarily, after being returned to the Flames’ AHL affiliate among the final roster cuts.

Yet the Stockton Heat’s leading scorer last year has plenty of future ahead of him.

Mangiapane’s season was cut short last year in March by a shoulder injury that required surgery in the offseason. Now, however, he says his should is “100%”.

“I had surgery there, and now I’m feeling good. I’m pretty motivated coming in, and I think that I’ve proven myself in the AHL.”

High hockey honours are certainly nothing new for the 22-year-old. He was a large cog in the gears that had brought the St. Michael’s Thunder hockey team success just a short time after the school’s inception.

During his high school career, Mangiapane was a staple on the team while winning numerous awards for years, joining the program in his first year.

Mangiapane, whose career highlights with St. Mike’s includes a hat trick and an assist in a 4 – 0 ROPSSAA championship win over Our Lady of Mount Carmel in his grade ten year, said he enjoyed his time playing high school hockey.

“We had a good group of guys there,” said the 19-year old. “We practiced a lot together and spent a lot of time together.”

He put up 39 points in 46 games with the Mississauga Senators minor midget AAA’s that same season. MVP honours came in 2013, when he was named the most valuable player for the Thunder after falling to Our Lady of Carmel in the OFSAA championship.

His success led to an immediate starting role with the OHL’s Barrie Colts, where back-to-back 100-plus point seasons led to him being drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Flames.

Mangiapane is no stranger to Flames fans. He suited up for 10 games with the big club in 2017-18. He made the AHL All-Star Classic last season in his second year with the team, putting up 46 points in just 39 games with the Heat. As of press time, the speedy winger has already posted three assists in four games back with the team he has called home for over one hundred games.

Yet for he, like so many other hockey hopefuls, the NHL is certainly the ultimate goal.

Asked what he thinks he has added to his game since one year ago, Mangiapane said “All-around confidence.”

“Just now believing in myself that I can play at this level. That was a big thing for me, just realizing, okay, I’m here. This is your moment, just show everyone now that you can play here.”

“I changed my gym up, and I was on the ice with a lot of different NHLers, (Sam) Bennett and all those guys…I just see myself, I’m training with these guys, I’m just as good as these guys, I can play at this level.”

         

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