Mark Scheifele had a breakout season and made your favourite blogger @arby_18 lose a bet to your favourite newspaper columnist Scott Campbell. The previous sentence contains no lies. As examined yesterday, Scheifele had a great season, especially when filling in for the injured Bryan Little on the first line. Where he slots in next year might depend on how one defines first line and second line players.
Scheifele's emergence as a number one centre is certainly a boon for the Jets, as long as they are willing to pay the man this off-season. It may be prudent for them to ask for a bridge deal, but it would also be prudent to sign him to a long-term contract at a discounted AAV. Either way, this was a good season for Scheifele to break out in.
Mark Scheifele is the type of player that the Jets need more of. He is skilled, he is fairly versatile, he sometimes falls down for no reason and he is very good at scoring goals as well as setting them up. But what is he like as a possession driver? Does he do good things for the Jets when he is not scoring?
As you can see, Scheifele has sterling numbers when it comes to driving possession. The beautiful thing about his numbers is that he is young and therefore he should remain an excellent point producer for years to come, never mind the fact he should also continue down his path of developing into a solid first line centre.
The future of Scheifele is curious. He is up for his second contract this off-season and there are two different ways that this could go. The Jets could go with a short-term bridge contract. There is nothing wrong with this move and it would have it's benefits however, it may not make the most financial sense for the Jets and because they are a budget team, that matters a whole lot. On the other hand, it can help them a whole lot if Scheifele plays out his prime years at a discount because he was signed long-term before he reaches his prime and demands more money. It should be noted that at 23, a 6-8 year contract actually carries him through his prime wonderfully and would probably save the Jets money long-term. This is the best plan because Scheifele is not a player that is going to be a superstar commanding an $8 million AAV. Instead, if the Jets can sign him at a fair price now, they can have that player for a long time at that fair price.
In all, Scheifele is a key player to the Winnipeg Jets and his ability to score points while pushing the puck up the ice. He may not be a perfect player: he falls down sometimes for no reason for one, but his skill-set and age is an asset to the team that they cannot afford to lose because of contract talks or something else.
All fancy stats from Corsica Hockey.