Winnipeg Jets centre Mark Scheifele is not only in a three-way tie for the Jets’ lead in scoring but is also becoming one of the core members of the team. Still, there is plenty to be known about the 23-year-old, who has gone a long way since being drafted seventh overall in 2011.
Here are five things that you either know or don’t know about Scheifele and his path to the National Hockey League, but that you’ll like to know.
1. A draft of surprises
Scheifele was originally drafted in the seventh round of the OHL priority draft by the Saginaw Spirit but never suited up for the club. Instead, he was sent back to his junior team, and his rights were eventually traded to the Barrie Colts. He shined with the club, and after scoring 23 goals and 63 points in 47 games with the Colts in 2011, he appeared to garner interest from NHL teams.
In the middle of the 2010-11 campaign, TSN projected Scheifele to be selected 21st overall. However, the Jets shocked everyone at the draft, taking him seventh overall. They had no jersey to present to him at the time, and had him wear a plain black NHL jersey. After an impressive start to the 2011-12 training camp, Winnipeg inked Scheifele to an entry-level deal.
2. Tuesdays are for Scheifele
Looking at his career numbers, which indicate 182 points in just 267 games played, the 23-year-old forward has had plenty of success on Tuesdays, which is odd because the beginning of the week is honestly a living hell for most of us.
This season, he has seven goals and 12 points in eight Tuesday games played. Dating back to the 2011-12 campaign, he has 31 points in 38 Tuesday games.
3. He appeared in the ballet this season
In addition to suiting up in 40 NHL games this season, Scheifele also took his expertise to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He appeared as a hockey player in a walk-on role in RWB’s rendition of the “Nutcracker,” alongside teammate Jacob Trouba.
Walk-on roles are saved for notable members of the Winnipeg community. The two appeared to play hockey on roller blades in the performance.
4. His friendship with Connor McDavid
One of the most interesting things about Scheifele is his fast friendship that he formed with Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid. The two got to play together on Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship in May last season and trained together in the summer. Both were also teammates on Team North America during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
The 19-year-old Oilers captain went as far to call Scheifele a “pretty unbelievable” player and complimented his shot. Both Scheifele and McDavid got to catch up off the ice in early December, and have since faced off against each other multiple times during the regular season.
— Connor McDavid (@cmcdavid97) December 2, 2016
5. Charity Work
Scheifele works as an athlete ambassador for KidSport Winnipeg. The group’s goal is to help financially disadvantaged kids learn to play hockey. He also holds an annual golf tournament to raise money for the group and hosts an annual co-ed hockey camp for members to teach kids hockey.
The golf tournament began in 2015 and raised over $215,000 for KidSport Winnipeg. Since then, he has raised plenty of money and awareness for the group and continues to advocate for players who can’t afford to hit the ice.