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Mark Scheifele Off To A Hot Start, Will This Keep Up?

October 26, 2022, 12:51 PM ET [21 Comments]
Jacob Billington
Winnipeg Jets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Mark Scheifele has started the season with four goals in his first six games. Playing on a line with Kyle Connor and Nik Ehlers, and Mason Appleton taking Ehlers' place due to injury, but the line as a whole is not producing as much offense as some may have expected.

Scheifele leads the Jets in goals with his four, Gagner is right behind him with three, and surprisingly enough, Kyle Connor only has one. Six goals through 16 games isn't very much, and the Jets will certainly pick up some of that offense again, but even without Connor producing at his elite level yet, Scheifele has been a whole new player this year.

At the end of last season, Scheifele had his end-of-season comments, that made everybody a bit curious about what the future would hold. There was no trade request, but it was clear he was becoming unhappy. Scheifele walked back on a couple of those statements, but I am sure that there is still some organizational frustration, and he will have a big decision to make next year.

Coming into this season, I was wondering how Scheifele would respond to the summer he had. He has come back, bought into Rick Bowness' system, and has looked much better. The biggest issue over the years with Scheifele is his minimal defensive efforts, and drawn out shifts. It was clear when the Jets hired Bowness, that those tendencies would be changing. So far this year, Scheifele has been winning puck battles in the corners, skating back to play more defense, and scoring at an elite rate.

While Bowness has only been behind the bench for one game, his impact is clearly being demonstrated on the ice. The top players are playing simple offense, and doing to right thing, rather than the flashy thing, and they are all buying in to the importance of team defense. I am quite pleased with what I have seen from Scheifele so far.

Scheifele is currently scoring at a 54 goal pace, which would be 16 higher than his best year, when he had 38 goals. I don't expect Scheifele to continue at this rate, but 40 goals is definitely possible. Once Connor starts scoring like we all know he will, Scheifele will begin to acquire those assists, too.

Production has never been an issue with Scheifele. It has been everything else, and now these things are starting to change. A lot of people were done with the Mark Scheifele we saw playing under Paul Maurice, and it was a tiresome situation. Seeing a fresh face behind the bench with a new spin of Scheifele's game, it could do wonders for this team.

Let me know your thoughts on how Mark Scheifele's transformation can impact this team, and if you think it is attainable for the whole season. Is this the new Scheifele?
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