solidified himself a good 2nd line centre this season,
already on pace for career highs. What is even more promising is his
ability to drive play and provide opportunities for the Jets to score
on opposing teams. The most important part of Scheifele’s development
as a centre is the impact on his teammates.
Before the 2015-16 season started, I wrote on what to expect from Mark Scheifele this season. Lets take a look at Scheifele’s 34 games so far.
Scheifele has played
in all 34 games for the Jets of the 2015-16 NHL season. He has
averaged 17.1 minutes of ice-time and has 22 points on the season (12
goals, 10 assists). 2.1 of those minutes are on the power play and
Scheifele has 1 goal and 2 assists on the man advantage. Scheifele
averages a fraction of a minute (0.1) on the penalty kill.
There is some good
company sitting at 22 points. TJ Oshie, Tyler Toffoli, James Neal all
sit at 22 points. Sidney Crosby has 22 points as well, but grouping
Crosby and Scheifele is not fair to either player.
The majority of this
piece will look at how Mark Scheifele has performed in 5v5
What is promising
for Scheifele and the role he is cast in is his play in 5v5
First, he has an
excellent penalty differential. He currently sits at plus 6 for
penalties drawn. Unfortunately, the Jets sit at 29th for
power play success at 14 percent and have not been able to capitalize
on Scheifele’s positive penalty differential.
If the Jets are able
to figure their power play situation out having a player like Mark
Scheifele drawing penalties will help the team win games. The
positive penalty differential also means Scheifele is playing a clean
game and Paul Maurice does not have to worry about Scheifele making
excellent goal production statistics. He currently sits at 17th
among NHL scorers at 1.3 goals over 60 minutes for the 2015-16
season. For assists, Scheifele averages at 0.9 assists over 60
minutes of play. Put together, that is 2.2 points over 60 minutes of
How do we interpret
this? Scheifele is a productive goal scorer and a decent passer.
Which should mean that to best utilize Mark Scheifele’s skill set,
head coach Paul Maurice needs to have a decent play maker on
Here is the most
exciting part of Scheifele’s development as a centre man for the
Jets. Mark Scheifele continues to excel in puck possession. Over the
past 34 games of the 2015-16 season, Scheifele has an average of 55.7 Corsi For percentage in 5v5 situations. This possession statistic is
already improved upon from last season of 52.3 percent and is
progressing upward in his third NHL season.
statistic to look at is if Scheifele is getting the majority of his
zone starts in the offensive zone of defensive zone. With 5v5 play,
Scheifele’s offensive and defensive zone starts are almost completely
even, 49.8 percent
Combined with great
possession numbers and good point production, Mark Scheifele is
developing into a pretty good centre man.
The question is,
does Mark Scheifele drive play that well himself, or does he have
teammates holding him up?
excellent possession numbers can be held up by their line mates,
however this is not the case for Scheifele. He anchors his line mates
in a good way.
If you look at the
With or Without You Diagram, Scheifele brings the level of play up
for the majority of his team mates he has spent time on the ice with
during the 2015-16 season. Andrew Ladd and Mathieu Perrault are the
only real exceptions to this.
Here is a line mate
chart from HockeyViz illustrating Scheifele’s most common line mates:
As you can see,
Scheifele has been paired with Mathieu Perrault on the wing for most
of the 2015-16 season to date and has split seen Nikolaj Ehlers and
Matthew Stafford split the rest of the time on Scheifele’s other
month of November was abysmal for the entire Jets’ team and
Mark Scheifele’s offensive
production took a huge hit.
Over 14 games during November, Scheifele had 6 points. While, 14
games is a small sample size, the
minimal production from the centre was distressing at times.
Thankfully, Scheifele regressed back to the mean and he started to
produce at a regular rate.
The cold streak was also not indicative of Scheifele’s play, despite
minimal offensive production. He had bad games sure, during the St
Louis game he had a Corsi For percentage of 20 percent. However, he
was also utterly dominant at times. For example, the Ottawa game he
had a Corsi For percentage of 70 percent. Despite this rough stretch
of games, Scheifele still holds a Corsi For percentage of 55.7
Scheifele sees plenty of power play time and is typically deployed on
the 2nd unit. However, he sees little to no time on the
penalty kill. While having offensive players rested for when the
penalty kill may be important, the Jets currently sit at 24th
on the penalty kill at 77.2%. Giving Scheifele a few more shifts on
the penalty kill might improve the Jets’ ability to kill penalties
and give the Jets more opportunities to score short-handed.
Maurice has set up the 2nd
line for the most optimal production. Earlier this month, Garret reviewed Drew Stafford’s play and found that Stafford can produce,
but needs help carrying play. Scheifele
can do this and what do you know, Stafford is on Scheifele’s wing.
developing into a bonafide second line centre and with his continued
improvement could become the next first line centre for the Jets. He
has been put into situations to succeed and has been given line mates
that help him in driving play, but also showing how he can be
responsible with carrying play and driving play for other line mates.
Advance Stats Courtesy of War On Ice
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