I was a little stunned and unhappy when Mika Zibanejad was taken by Ottawa right before our pick; I really think Zibanejad is going to make some franchise (maybe even Ottawa's!) happy in the future. With centre as one of our big needs, I figured we would end Sean Couturier's 1st round slide. Instead, we brought in centre Mark Scheifele of the Barrie Colts (coincidentally, coached by one Dale Hawerchuk), and admittedly I had to look back at my scouting report on the guy because I didn't expect him to go this high.
Having said that, he's an intriguing pick, a tall player that needs to fill out but plays well at both ends of the ice. Just as important to me, he had a great rookie season in the OHL with a weak team, and had up to this season received very little hype (read: he might be sincerely humble). Let's take a closer look.
|Pronounced "Shy-flea"||188cm (6'2")||83kg (182lbs)|
*projects 10-11 year into an 82-game NHL season **player +/- minus team-average +/-
The recently-turned 18-year old Scheifele played convincing hockey in both the OHL and in the IIHF U18 Championships, putting together an NHLE season good for around 28 points (no small feat for a 17-year old). A bit longer lens should include his season in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League as well; as was the case in Barrie, the Kitchener Dutchmen were a very poor team on which Scheifele stood out.
More on the positives...he plays all situations, powerplay and shorthanded, and for a big guy who uses his body along the boards and in front of the net, he doesn't take a lot of penalties. All the scouting reports gush about his hands and playmaking ability, in addition to a stellar work ethic (according to Barrie assistant GM Jason Ford, he "treats practice like it's a game"). Some of his hand-eye skill comes from playing lacrosse, though it's not necessarily something that would separate him from a pack of Canadian prospects.
Now for the negatives: a common knock on Scheifele is his skating, which is capable but a bit awkward. I've also heard at least one report of him being marginal at the faceoff dot, something that makes me cringe a bit and hope he works on it. These problems aren't the end of the world, but in tandem they tell me we could potentially have a future right winger on our hands rather than a centre (not a problem, as right wing could use some offensive help, too). I'm also a bit concerned about how many of his points last year were powerplay points; you want a guy who can take advantage of those opportunities, but not one whose numbers are inflated by them.
The "golly-gee" interview (with Munz of the ever-dirty-sounding C-job):
The Approval of A Forefather (subtitle: Hawerchuk Touches Scheifele's Shoulders With His Koho):
I think the Jets reached a bit for Scheifele, but unlike other reaches where you go after a guy that wows you with one particular skill and carries some risk (think Tomas Jurco, Victor Rask), we got a guy who looks like he could easily be a solid, any-minutes player in the future (maybe even a pretty good scorer). In closing, we should be patient; he could use another season or two at the OHL/AHL levels to work out some of the kinks (and bulk up a bit more).
Did I mention he likes Taylor Swift? Not sure if any amount of seasoning will help that.
What do you think about the Jets selecting Mark Scheifele?
Good pick (42 votes)
Bad pick, should've went with a defenceman (1 vote)
Bad pick, should've went with a goalie (1 vote)
Bad pick, should've went with a different centre (49 votes)
Bad pick, should've went with a wing (1 vote)
94 total votes