“I just walked to the washroom and, ‘Mark, can you come and take a picture with my son?’ ” Scheifele recalled. “I was like, ‘You guys already know me.’ I’ve never had that really happen before.
“That’s pretty cool to actually see that, just being a draft pick.”
In the immortal words of local son Randy Bachman, you guys ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
You play for the new Jets, and you automatically trade in your anonymity.
Put another way: you’re not in Atlanta, anymore, fellas.
Little, a four-year NHLer with tousled hair and a quick laugh, and Scheifele, the clean-cut rookie, were in town for Wednesday’s Dale Hawerchuk charity golf tournament.
No doubt the buzz they’ve felt since arriving continued at Pine Ridge, and for a change we’re not talking about the mosquitos.
For a guy like Little, who doesn’t crave the limelight, it’ll be different.
“I kind of like flying under the radar,” the 23-year-old said. “It’ll be an adjustment for everyone who’s used to playing in Atlanta. We’re not used to the media, not used to the fans, being in a hockey city like this. It’ll be an adjustment, but probably for the better.”
In the short term, especially.
Over the long haul, that may depend.
Just ask Hawerchuk, who knows a thing or two about being a celebrity in this town.
“You better play well because everywhere you go they’re going to know who you are,” the former Jets star said. “And if you want to walk around proud, then it’s good to be playing well and have a good record behind you.”
Like Scheifele, his star player with the OHL’s Barrie Colts last season, Hawerchuk was 18 when he first arrived.
Almost instantly, he couldn’t go anywhere without being recognized.
“Sometimes you might think it gets in the way, ‘I want to get this done, or I want to get that done.’ That goes out the window,” Hawerchuk said. “Because sometimes you just can’t. But it’s a good problem to have. The big thing is you still gotta keep your priorities in order. You do have to perform, and that’s why they love you.”
Looking at Little’s career log, it’s hard to know what will be a good performance, at least statistically.
In 2008-09, his second season, the Alberta-born, Ontario-raised Little potted 31 goals, 20 assists.
“It seemed like everything I was shooting was going in,” he said.
Last season, he scored just 18 times, but recorded 30 helpers.
So what is he, a sniper or setup man?
“I don’t know, yet,” Little said, chuckling. “Kind of both, I guess. They were always trying to get me to shoot more last year. I’ve had the tendency to be more of a pass-first kind of guy. I’ll continue to try and shoot more this year.”
There’s one thing he’s shooting for above all others.
“I’ve been with Atlanta for four years now and I’ve never played in a playoff game,” Little said. “It was tough watching this year, especially. More than anything, I just want to be in the playoffs. As long as we get there, anything can happen.”
The Stanley Cup Playoffs in Winnipeg — what do you think that’d be like, after all these years?
I know one thing.
Little would be able to kiss what little anonymity he has left goodbye.