Mark Scheifele, 20, C, 6'2, 194 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 21
This Year's Ranking: 18
The first thing that comes to my mind when I see Mark Scheifele's junior stats is that they aren't overly impressive, but still pretty good.
Three seasons leading the Barrie Colts from a cellar dweller to the penthouse (although no trip to the Memorial Cup), Scheifele's farewell tour in Barrie was impressive – 79 points in 45 games – and add to that a strong playoff run that saw the Jets pick scorch opposition netminders with 41 points in only 21 playoff games averaging nearly two points a game.
If it were only 22 playoff games, the Colts may have gone farther – but that's behind Scheifele.
He has bigger goals.
Throughout training camp and pre-season, Scheifele has been touted as the man to take over the second line from Olli Jokinen and play a more setup/playmaking style (which is his style) between sniper's Evander Kane and Devin Setoguchi – both former 30 goal scorers.
Scheifele had 40 or more assists in junior over three seasons – 133 in 158 games to be exact.
Add to that his 34 career playoff assists in 44 games and people aren't wondering why the Jets took him over Sean Couturier in 2011.
The Barrie Colt product has spiked up the rankings in his three seasons – from 25th to 21st and now into the top 20. With any success this season as a full-time rookie, you could see Scheifele's name mentioned in Calder Trophy discussions.
Time will tell for the Jets patience.