June 15 2011 10:32AM
One of the younger draft eligibles this year with a March 1993 birthday, the 6' 3" Mark Scheifele was a rookie for the dreadful Barrie Colts this season and finished second in scoring behind Colin Behenna (who was two years his senior). Like Zack Phillips, Scheifele is mostly projected as a middle-tier first round pick with many of his positives are balanced with negatives despite some decent counting numbers.
The rangey center managed 75 points in 66 games for the Colts, the second best PPG pace amongst regular skaters on the club. He got scored on a lot (-22 rating), but so did everyone else on Barrie: the team finished last in the OHL's Eastern Conference and had a goal differential of -117. The aforementioned Behenna scored 88 points to Scheifele's 75, but finished the year a ghastly -42. Third best scorer Steven Bayers was a -50. Tim Carnevale only appeared in 33 games for the Colts and racked up a -22 rating in that brief time. So taken in context, Scheifele's -22 number probably isn't all that bad.
His ES/PP splits and percentage of team offense aren't very good, however. Thirty-five of his 75 points came with the man advantage, meaning he finished with the worst ES scoring percentage of any guy we've looked at so far (50.7%). Remember that Sven Bartschi finished above 70%. Again, this may somewhat be a function of the quality of the team's involved, but it still strikes me as mark against Scheifele.
His percentage of team offense wasn't awful with the kid accounting for 75 goals out of 222 in the 66 games he played (33.8%), but it's not overly notable either.
Corey Pronman of Hockey prospectus had this to say about Scheifele:
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.
Strengths: Smart player, good puck protection skills
Weaknesses: Average puck handling, average skating
Pronman has Scheifele as the 29th best prospect heading into the draft. NHL central scouting sees him as the 16th best NA skater (just behind Phillips and McNeill) while the ISS placed him 18th (ahead of McNeill at 21 and Phillips, who didn't even make the top-30).
Given what I've read and seen on Scheifele, he strikes me as the type of guy the Flames would be targeting if they were picking in the mid-20's again, but at 13 he sounds like a stretch. His scoring was highly dependent on the PP this year and he doesn't seem to have a lot high-end tools beyond hockey sense and a tall frame.