The Winnipeg Jets return as an NHL club occurred just a few months back, shortly before the 2011 NHL Draft. The Jets have wasted little time in signing their top selection from that draft, Barrie Colts forward Mark Scheifele, to a contract, coming to terms with Scheifele today on a entry-level deal.
Scheifele has experienced somewhat of a meteroric rise since the early portion of 2011. His stock rose steadily as the NHL Draft approached, where he was chosen seventh overall by the Jets. And Sheifele has so far provided plenty of proof that the Jets did not make a reach with this pick as he led his team in scoring during the 2011 preseason, where he picked up four goals and four assists for eight points in five preseason games.
Scheifele is currently the top-rated prospect of the Winnipeg Jets according to Hockey’s Future. The 6-3, 175-pound forward brings a mix of size and skill to the Jets’ center position. He may need to bulk up a bit to better handle some of the bigger-bodied defensemen in the NHL, but it appears that his offesnive skills are nearly ready for prime time.
Scheifele could still be returned to the Colts for the 2011-12 season, but this would seem unlikely if he continues his strong play of the preseason through the Jets first nine regular season games.