Mark Scheifele (born March 15, 1993) is a Canadian ice hockey center who is currently playing and serving as an alternate captain for the Winnipeg Jets in the National Hockey League. He was selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and was the first draft pick in the history of the new Winnipeg Jets after being relocated from Atlanta. Scheifele was also selected to play in the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships for Team Canada.
Scheifele is a Sport Ambassador for KidSport Winnipeg, a charity that aims to remove the financial barriers to playing sports, and runs an annual hockey camp for boys and girls on behalf of KidSport Winnipeg.
Scheifele grew up playing minor hockey in his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario playing for the Kitchener Jr. Rangers rep program in the Alliance Pavilion League. After his minor midget season in 2008–09, Scheifele was drafted by the Saginaw Spirit in the seventh round (134th overall) of the 2009 OHL Priority Selection.
The following season, Scheifele was assigned to his hometown Kitchener Dutchmen Jr.B. club for a year of seasoning in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (OHA). After the 2009–10 season, Scheifele's rights were traded by the Spirit with a second round choice in 2013 to the Barrie Colts in exchange for goalie Mavric Parks. The trade was made on August 16, 2010. Two weeks later, Scheifele signed with the Colts for the 2010–11 season.
Scheifele in 2012
Scheifele played major junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the Barrie Colts. TSN mid-season ranking published in January 2011 projected Scheifele to go 21st overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, but in the June draft he was selected seventh overall by the Winnipeg Jets. Instead of a Winnipeg jersey, however, Scheifele was given a black generic NHL jersey to wear on his draft day. This happened because the Winnipeg Jets did not have an official jersey at the time of the NHL Entry Draft.
In 2011–12 NHL pre-season, in his first exhibition game, he scored two goals and two assists against the Columbus Blue Jackets, garnering the first star. On October 3, 2011, the Jets announced that they had signed Scheifele to an entry-level contract, and he started the 2011–12 NHL season in the NHL. Scheifele scored his first NHL goal on October 19, 2011 against James Reimer of the Toronto Maple Leafs. On October 23, he was sent back to the OHL and rejoined the Barrie Colts. After the Barrie Colts were eliminated from the play-off race, he changed his number from 45 to 55 and was called up by the Winnipeg Jets to play for their American Hockey League team the St. John's IceCaps for the Calder Cup playoffs. He participated in the Jets 2012–13 training camp, and played with the team. However, after the start of the season he was eventually sent back down to Barrie.
For the 2013–2014 NHL season, Scheifele played in all 60 Winnipeg Jets' regular season games up to the 2014 Winter Olympics break. With Scheifele being a "top six forward" for the Jets and having a regular shift centring the team's second line, there was little doubt the 2013–2014 season would be Scheifele's first full NHL season with the Winnipeg Jets hockey club, making him eligible for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2014. However, on March 4, 2014, in a game against the New York Islanders, Scheifele suffered a knee injury, which ultimately forced him to miss the rest of the regular season.
Scheifele surpassed the 20-goal mark for the first time in his professional career during the 2015–16 season when he netted his first NHL hat-trick in a game against the Montreal Canadiens on March 5, 2016.
Mark Scheifele WJC12 press conference.jpg
Scheifele as a member of Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championships
Scheifele participated at the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships held in Canada and won the bronze medal. Scheifele also participated at the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships held in Russia. Scheifele played for Team Canada at the 2014 World Championships in Belarus and won gold at the 2016 World Championships in Russia. He also represented Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, playing on the top line alongside Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid.
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