How far will the Rangers get this season?

Possible First Round Pick: Mark Scheifele

Mark Scheifele (via

Mark Scheifele (via

The Rangers currently have five defensemen under the age of 28 on their roster and two more top prospects on the way, so it’s very likely New York will be looking to add some offensive firepower with its first-round pick, No. 15 overall in the NHL Draft.

Between now and June 24th, we’ll take a look at some of the forwards that the Rangers might be thinking about taking on draft day.  Today, we look at…

Mark Scheifele

HT: 6-2

WT: 177

Pos: C

Shoots: R

Birthday: 3/15/93

Team: Barrie Colts, OHL

2009-2010 stats: 18g, 37a, 51gp, 20 PIM (Kitchener Jr. B)

2010-2011 stats: 22g, 53a, 66gp, 35 PIM, -22

2010-2011 playoffs: N/A profile >



The Hockey News: 41

CSS: 16 Midterm Rank: 21

ISS: 17 

TSN: 12 Midterm Rank: 21 

TSN (Craig Button): 16

The Scouting Report: 10 Midterm Rank: 15 

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: 18

Corey Pronman: 29

ESPN: 19


Highlight Reel > 


What They’re Saying:

THN – “Playing on a weak team made Mark Scheifele an interesting case study.  The biggest question scouts have is did he have such a good year because he’s talented, or because the Barrie Colts were bad and he got so much quality ice time?  Drafted in the seventh round by Saginaw, Scheifele scored a hat trick in his third OHL game, but playing on a 15-win team in Barrie tested his mettle.  Scouts project him to fill a power forward role when he puts more muscle on his frame.  ‘He has really good hands and he’s a good playmaker,’ a scout said.  ‘His numbers as a 17-year-old are pretty amazing considering he played for a team that lost 49 games.  I think he’s a real smart hockey player.’  Scouts like his response to a trying situation, but not everyone is sold.  ‘There’s some risk with him, but there’s a lot of stuff going on that’s positive,’ another scout said.  ‘The risk-reward factor with him is high.’”

The Scouting Report – "Scheifele’s first year in the OHL is one to remember as the unheralded Kitchener, Ont. Native burst onto the scene with the Barrie Colts. Scheifele is a big-time talent with the ability to make his linemates better as a great playmaker and player who can buy time in the offensive zone. Scheifele is good along the boards and in traffic and did a good job of making things happen on a team that lacked talent in a big way. He still needs to add some much needed bulk to his frame, and could probably afford to shoot the puck more; as the U18’s showed, but he’s a guy with a pretty high ceiling and is certainly a player to watch for."

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – “6-3 guys don't typically move the way he does with that ability to separate, so there is a lot of raw material to work with. At about 175, he's nowhere near as strong as he needs to be. However, he more than solidified a first-round draft grade in our view. He's a poor man's Ryan Johansen at this stage we feel- won't go as high, but his progress and potentially high ceiling will see him picked ahead of other higher-profile players who are bigger names and have been in draft discussions longer. Classic guy who came into the U18s with some questions to answer and passed with flying colors. Happens every year.”

Corey Pronman - "Mark Scheifele had a good year from a counting statistics standpoint on a poor Barrie team and with a good Under-18 tournament—his stock has come a ways in the course of a season. Scheifele is a low-ceiling but highly projectable player without a true standout tool. His skating grades as below-average, and while his mechanics are fine, his feet are just somewhat heavy and he doesn't have an NHL-level top speed. Scheifele's puck skills are decent, and while he doesn't bring any form of flashy stick handling or stretch passes to the table, he can handle the puck at a moderate level and make the right distributions bringing the puck up the ice and on the power play. He also shows good puck protection skills along the side boards. Scheifele projects as a solid-average to above-average physical player as while he has room to fill out, and he's already notably strong and works well along the walls. His hockey sense is above-average and it's what will drive his value towards the highest level, as he anticipates the flow of the game well, rarely turns the puck over, and plays well in his own zone."

The Hockey Writers – “A premium is set on big offensive centers, and Scheifele holds that in spades. An otherwise bright spot on an awful Barrie season.  Scheifele possesses that which most scouts look for in a center– size, skating, vision, hands and hockey intelligence.  Seen as somewhat of a ‘safe’ pick by scouts, as he has all the tools needed to be an NHL’er, it’s just unknown in what capacity that may be. His playmaking and vision are his bread and butter, and he uses them in Joe Thornton-like fashion, always looking for the open man.  In a time where teams are so heavily looking for center depth, especially those playmaking pivots, Scheifele has seen his stock rise and could be a surprise pick to move into 15th or so.  With added strength to his frame, he could be all that much better, and a real gem for the team that brings him into the player development fold.” – “ ‘He has to play against everybody's best players every night,’ the scout told, ‘where you might have a player on a real good team that doesn't have to play against the top defensive pair or maybe they're playing against the third line every night. There's a big difference. You have to take that into consideration.’  Hawerchuk said there have been some growing pains, but believes anything Scheifele goes through this season only will help him going forward.  ‘He's going to be so much further ahead this time next year for having to play against top lines and 19- and 20-year-olds night in and night out,’ Hawerchuk said.  ‘Mark protects the puck very well and will take it to the net while fighting through checks,’ Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told ‘He's got a great work ethic. His Barrie Colts have struggled this season and he has been relied upon to provide offense. He sees the ice very well and his playmaking ability is very good. He gets back quickly and works hard defensively.’” – “Since arriving on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, Scheifele has built a reputation on quiet dedication. Even though his stat line is impressive enough, the big pivot brings it at both ends of the ice, which makes him one of Barrie’s bright rising stars.  ‘Pretty much right from Day 1 when he came in, he saw the opportunity and he seized it,’ Colts assistant GM Jason Ford said. ‘Somebody told us he’d be our hardest-working player and they’re not far off – he treats practice like it’s a game, he’s just a quality kid from a quality family.’  Ford notes Scheifele has the ability to become a first- or second-line center in the NHL one day, but added that, if you want to nitpick, the one thing he could improve on is his skating. Though he is deceptively quick, Scheifele may look heavy-footed at times, but Ford stressed in the long run that’s not a big concern. Because of how Scheifele attacks practices and how driven he is to improve his game, there’s little doubt whatever tweaks need to be made, the Kitchener native will adjust accordingly.” - “Scheifele went from No. 21 among North American skaters in the CSS midterms to No. 16 in the final rankings. Back at the start of the season he was No. 19 in the preliminary OHL rankings. Scheifele has been on a bit of a roller-coaster -- a rise, a fall and another rise -- but he's been highest at the season's end.  One scout's take: ‘He was the best forward on the Canadian team at the Under-18 World Championships and probably the second best player on that team after Ryan Murphy. [Scheifele] was in and out during the season. He had a really good stretch around the 20-game mark, but he fell off dramatically. His team was weak. It can be hard to get a read on a kid in a bad situation and really, surrounded by more talent and against a higher level of play, he played his best hockey of the season. You have to think that's not just coincidence. You wouldn't have bet on him having a big [under-18] tournament. He was bad at the [CHL] Prospects Game, just about invisible. He struggled after a head injury in February.’  Stockwatch: Will not be around for the 16th overall pick."

Kyle Woodlief, Red Line Report – “Scheifele is an emerging talent who has come farther, faster than anyone at the top end of this year's class. He was a Tier II player during the 2009-10 campaign, but blossomed in his first year of major junior as he began growing into his gangly frame and putting together the pieces of a well rounded game. Despite getting no help and having to create his own offense on a terrible, rebuilding club, Scheifele managed to put up 75 points and topped off an impressive season as Canada's most dangerous forward at the world under-18 championships.”

Jess Rubenstein - "Pass as he was a JR B player before Barrie got him.  He would be a major project and the Rangers cannot afford more projects."


Mock Drafts:

Adam Kimelman, – 20 

Mike Morreale, – 16 

Steven Hoffner, – 16 

Deven Persaud, - 20 – 14 

Gary Joyce, ESPN – 13 

Mark Seidel, CBC – 23 

Hockey's Future - 14

The Hockey News - 30


Thoughts: Scheifele performed admirably for an awful club this season.  The minus-22 jumps out at you, but his teammates may be more to blame than Scheifele himself.  There are some minor skating concerns here and Scheifele must fill out his lanky frame, but it sounds like he has a chance to be a gem.  Scheifele burst onto the OHL scene as a 17-year-old this past season, so he’ll undoubtedly need significant time before he’s ready for the NHL, but he has a chance to be a star.

The Rangers haven’t shied away from long-term project picks in recent years, as both Chris Kreider and Dylan McIlrath were projected to be years away from the NHL when they were selected.  New York took three players from the OHL last year and last spent a first-round choice on an OHLer in 2008 when the Blueshirts took Michael Del Zotto at #20.


Season Review:

Breaking Down The Defense >

Breaking Down The Goalies >

Breaking Down The Offense >

Breaking Down The Prospects >

How Three Free Agent Signings In 2007 Have Shaped The Eastern Conference >

Spotlight On Glen Sather >

Spotlight On John Tortorella >


Player Reviews:

Spotlight On Mats Zuccarello >

Spotlight On Brian Boyle >

Spotlight On Matt Gilroy >

Spotlight On Ruslan Fedotenko >

Spotlight On Brandon Prust >

Spotlight On Bryan McCabe >

Spotlight On Alex Frolov >

Spotlight On Michael Del Zotto >

Spotlight On Martin Biron >


Possible First Round Pick:

Zack Phillips >

Sven Bartschi >

Mark Scheifele >



Posted by Kevin Baumer | May 17, 2011 at 10:39 am

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