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Sports: Sabres sign former first-round pick Mark Jankowski to one-year deal

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The Buffalo Sabres on Sunday signed forward Mark Jankowski to a one-year, $750,000 contract, per the team. They also loaned forward Arttu Ruotsalainen to the AHL’s Rochester Americans in a corresponding move to create roster space for Jankowski.

Mark Jankowski. © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Mark Jankowski.

Up to this point, Jankowski was on an AHL deal with the Americans after being cut from a professional tryout contract with the New Jersey Devils during training camp. Jankowski’s enjoyed offensive success this season, along with many other Rochester players, scoring five goals and seven assists in 13 games.

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Drafted 21st overall by Calgary in 2012, Jankowski, now 27, looked like he was on a path to being a full-time NHL player when he put up 17-goal and 14-goal seasons back-to-back with Calgary in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Jankowski scored just seven points the following season, however, and Calgary opted not to qualify him. He signed with Pittsburgh in free agency but couldn’t make it work there either, scoring 11 points in 45 games.

This is now his third NHL opportunity, and it could very well be his last if it doesn’t work out. Jankowski will likely get more offensive opportunity on this squad than he did in Pittsburgh, and maybe more of a role can help him put more pucks in the back of the net.

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