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Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Mark Scheifele

Tuesday, 06.21.2011 / 9:08 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Draft Profile: Mark Scheifele
On each weekday between now and the first round of the NHL Entry Draft on June 24, we'll be profiling one of 11 players who could be chosen with the 12th overall pick by Carolina. Today's subject is Barrie Colts center Mark Scheifele. Previously: Sven Bartschi | Nathan Beaulieu | Jonas Brodin | Sean Couturier | Oscar Klefbom | Ryan Murphy | Jamieson Oleksiak | Also see: Hurricanes Draft History.

Scouts may have had to look a little harder to fully appreciate Mark Scheifele, but those who did certainly liked what they saw.

Paul Branecky
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The 6-foot-2, 177-pound center spent his first season of junior hockey with the Barrie Colts, which ended up being one of the least-successful teams in Canadian major junior hockey. Having lost key players Alexander Burmistrov and Alex Pietrangelo to the NHL, the Colts went from being the Ontario Hockey League’s best team to its worst in just one year, posting a record of 15-49-4 this past season.

Although the Colts as a team may not have been much of a factor, Scheifele certainly wasn’t to blame. His 75 points in 66 games were fourth among OHL rookies, while his 53 assists led all first-year players and tied him for seventh overall.

Those numbers alone would seem to make him a good bet to join Burmistrov and Pietrangelo as a first-round NHL draft pick, but there is some debate as to how Barrie’s misfortune affected his scoring totals. Some think his increased ice time and status as a clear go-to guy may have artificially enhanced his totals, while others believe that his lack of support and the attention he drew from opposing defenders make his success more remarkable.

Count the Hurricanes in the latter group.

“Two things happen in a situation like that – you don’t get the talent level that surrounds the player and you also get in a situation where a good player on a bad team plays an enormous amount,” said Hurricanes Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jason Karmanos. “One of the more impressive things that he did this year was the type of production he had on a relatively bad team.”

“After a time he was targeted by the opposition as a guy that they needed to stop,” said Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes’ director of amateur scouting. “The fact that he was still able to produce is a good thing.”

Still, it took an impressive performance at the World Under-18 Championship in April to really enhance his overall stock. Playing with the best players his age, Scheifele co-led all Canadian forwards in scoring with 8 points (6g, 2a) in seven games. On his team, only a pair of defensemen, including the previously-profiled Ryan Murphy, scored more.

“His performance at the under-18s showed what he can do while getting more support from his teammates,” said MacDonald.

“If there were any doubts that he was a good prospect, I think he dispelled those doubts with his performance,” said Karmanos.

That tournament and his 11-goals-in-18 games finish with Barrie caused Scheifele to rise in various draft rankings, including a 26-spot jump from No. 44 to No. 18 by the International Scouting Service. Similar to Jeff Skinner one year earlier, that placement, along with his status as the NHL Central Scouting Service’s No. 16 North American skater, might still be too low.

“He’s a good faceoff guy who plays in all situations,” said MacDonald. “He may not project to score quite as much at the NHL level, but he reminds of a young Eric Staal in the way he plays the game. He’s a big kid with good reach.”

“He skates well for his size and plays a solid, two-way game,” said Karmanos. “Scheifele has good playmaking abilities but can also put the puck in the net.”

The Hurricanes also like Scheifele’s character intangibles, feeling he kept a positive attitude despite his difficult situation. In what would become a microcosm of his season, he scored a hat trick in his home debut – a 9-3 loss. Things wouldn’t get much better from there.

“Losing has a tendency to wear you down, but he responded well to the challenge,” said MacDonald. “There were very few indications that he was frustrated, and his body language and energy level were always consistent. That’s a good sign.”


SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60