Hockey’s Future has been rolling out their top 50 prospect list over the last few days, and in their latest installment they rank Mark Scheifele in the 23rd spot. Here’s what they had to say about him:
Few prospects saw such a meteoric rise over the last few months. After managing 22 goals and 53 assists with the Barrie Colts last year, Mark Scheifele was drafted seventh overall by the newly reformed Winnipeg Jets. The skilled forward continued to impress in training camp and the preseason for Winnipeg, forcing them to sign him to a three-year entry-level deal and putting him in the running for a spot on the NHL opening day roster. Regardless of where he spends the 2011-12 season, Scheifele should eventually join talented young players Alexander Burmistrov, Evander Kane, and Zach Bogosian to form a very promising core in Winnipeg.
While I wouldn’t have him at 23, I also wouldn’t have him entirely off the list like Hockey Prospectus did this year either. Scheifele’s strengths (puck possession, hockey sense) are a lot tougher to teach than his main weakness (skating), so while I think he’s better off playing in the OHL this year, if he can improve his skating even a little bit to get it up to average, the Jets could end up proving a lot of doubters wrong.