Winnipeg Jets prospect Mark Scheifele has been highly regarded for quite some time now, but this year he’s taken his game to a “whole other level,” according to Hall of Famer and OHL Barrie Colts coach Dale Hawerchuk.
“You’re watching a kid become a man in junior hockey as far as his ability on the ice,” Hawerchuk told NHL.com. “He’s a pretty dominating player. It’s not so much his scoring, it’s what he does all over the ice at the pace he does it. He wants to win day in and day out. I don’t know anybody who works harder on and off the ice.”
Scheifele has 21 goals and 48 points in 29 games with the Colts this season, but those statistics don’t tell the full story.
“He’s got the full package,” Hawerchuk said. “He’s a great team guy, great skill, good size. Day in and day out he’s the hardest worker. That’s a pretty good package.”
Scheifele has seven games worth of NHL experience under his belt and he might have already accumulated more ice time with the Winnipeg Jets by now if it wasn’t for the lockout. Instead, he’ll play for Team Canada in the upcoming World Junior Championship.
He’s projected to skate on a line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jonathan Huberdeau. Nugent-Hopkins has already proved that he can excel in the NHL and all three could develop into stars over the next several years.
After all, Team Canada’s roster during the 2004-05 lockout featured quite a few players that have gone on to have very impressive careers.