Scheifele hits his stride with Colts

- October 29th, 2012

Winnipeg Jets 2011 first rounder Mark Scheifele is off to a great start with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League.

Although Scheifele was hoping to nail down a spot on the Jets’ roster this season, he’s clearly benefiting from some additional seasoning back in junior.

I recently caught up with Scheifele and he was his energetic self, preferring to talk about his teammates and linemates and downplaying his personal success.

That’s not a surprise, given what we learned about the seventh overall pick of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft last fall.

He’s the genuine article and his main focus is on helping his team get better, while working on his game and doing whatever he can to prepare to become a full-time NHLer, whenever that time comes.

Here’s my story on him:

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2012/10/29/jets-scheifele-finding-stride-in-ohl

During our conversation, there were a number of items that didn’t make it into the print story, so I figured I would share those with you in this space.

Before I do, here’s one final quote from Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, who is keeping busy watching many of the Jets draft picks while the lockout drags on. He watched Scheifele earlier this season and noticed a key difference from last fall:

“Certainly, you see the strength has increased in his overall game, in his skating, his corner work, in holding off defenders,” said Cheveldayoff. “Those are things you want him to continue to do as he goes down the growth path. He put in a real hard summer of work and we monitored him very closely and he was very willing to put in the time. It’s been a good process for him.”

And now, back to Scheifele, who is second in the OHL scoring derby with 8 goals, 15 assists and 23 points in 15 games this season for the Colts, who are 11-3-0-1 and are first in OHL in points with 23 points (one more than the Owen Sound Attack, who have 22 but hold a game in hand at 10-2-0-2).

on team growth this season:

“It’s been good. We had a rough first week, then we had an eight-game winning streak. We have a really good core group and the young guys are great too. It’s a really good atmosphere in the room and everyone is enjoying it for sure.

on taking on more of a leadership role:

“I definitely embraced that. Being a guy who has been on the team the last two years, you have to take on a leadership role. Off the ice, you know you have to show them how to be a veteran and what it takes to be a pro. Then on the ice, you need to work your hardest on every shift and doing whatever it takes to help the team win, to help the young guys buy into the system as well.”

on his comfort level in third OHL season:

“I definitely have that confidence. Coming in as a third-year guy, you have a familiarity with the coaches and a lot of the players.”

on his six-point night earlier this month in a win over the Ottawa 67s, where he went out of his way to give props to linemates Zach Hall and Anthony Camara:

“I’ve never had a six-point game in my life. It was a really fun night and it definitely brought my confidence up. But the biggest thing was that we got the win.”

on where he’s at in terms of development:

“There’s a lot of hard work that needs to be done to be in the NHL full-time but I’m willing to put it in. It feels like it’s coming along really good. I keep working hard at bettering myself to become a more all-around player. It’s really helping me out. I’m learning a lot each and every day.”

on going to St. John’s to join the IceCaps for the Calder Cup playoffs last spring:

“It was really good and really beneficial. I was able to learn a lot from the pro’s there and learn about what it’s like in the AHL. Especially in the playoffs, you learn what it takes to get to that spot and to want to make it to the NHL. I learned a lot in that stint I was with them and it was a lot of fun to go that far in the playoffs as well. We obviously lost to a tough team in Norfolk but that was a good series. The entire time I was up, I had a lot of fun and the guys were great.”

on his 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship experience, that included three goals, six points and a bronze medal:

“I learned a lot last year. Being an 18-year-old, you learn a lot from the older guys and you learn it takes a full team effort and it takes a lot of hard work to get that gold medal. You get a lot of experience doing it one year and the next year , you come in more confident, knowing what’s expected and knowing what it takes. The biggest thing, if I make that team, I’ll be ready to contribute and do whatever it takes to win that gold medal.”

 

 

Categories: Hockey

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