WINNIPEG - Did you hear about that Scheifele kid, the hotshot 18-year-old trying to earn a million-dollar paycheque with the Winnipeg Jets?
Turns out that four-point night in Tuesday's pre-season opener went straight to the guy's head.
At least, that's how teammate Nik Antropov opened his scrum with reporters, Wednesday, telling them about Scheifele's suddenly bloated ego.
"He told me he thinks the NHL is a joke right now," Antropov said.
Actually, that wouldn't be so hard to believe, in a way.
Because everything else about Mark Scheifele just seems too good to be true.
The boyish enthusiasm: check.
Blue-collar work ethic: check.
Big-league talent: check.
Now you can add "clutch performer" to the list, after what the Jets first-round draft pick did before the biggest and loudest crowd he's ever seen.
"He's calm," marveled Antropov. "I didn't see him nervous at all. Some guys before game come in there shaking and stuff like that. He did everything great: faceoffs, defensive zone, offensive zone, it was a good overall game for him.
"It looks really promising."
If Scheifele turned heads at the prospects tournament in Penticton, he's popping neck tendons now.
To be honest, I thought the ink spilled over this kid had been a little excessive.
Then came Tuesday's two-goal, two-assist number, and here I am adding to the mess.
"It was a high-intensity night with emotion and nervousness, and he was performing," Jets boss Claude Noel said, the day after. "Some people freeze under those conditions. He was going. He was ready. It looked like he was comfortable in it."
The night before, Noel called Scheifele the best player on the ice.
To be fair, the Columbus Blue Jackets B-team isn't exactly the Stanley Cup champ.
But Scheifele was sharing the same dressing room as Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and a slew of other NHL vets. And it's looking more and more like he deserves a spot in it, beyond the end of training camp.
"He was impressive," Ladd said. "Just his hockey smarts. He gets in those spots and makes smart plays. I'm looking forward to seeing what else he can do."
Byfuglien put it another way: "The kid was amazing."
But he's definitely still a kid.
When Scheifele got back to his hotel room after the game, he called home and talked to his mom and dad, brother and sister.
"All night, it was tough to get to sleep," Scheifele said. "My adrenaline was still going and I was still smiling so much."
The thing is, Scheifele got up in the morning and put his work boots back on. Still glowing, perhaps, but grounded.
"That's what everyone said: you can't stay too high for too long," he said. "I just wanted to skate my hardest, have a good workout. Try to get back to reality.
"It's not gone to my head at all. I've played one game. I still want to prove myself."
What he's proving to be is a real pain in the butt.
It would have been easy to peg the flaws in Scheifele's game and send him back to junior to see if he can dominate the Ontario League for a season.
Instead, Noel is starting to think about using the kid's size at centre, allowing Antropov to move to the wing, his natural position.
At the same time, the coach won't get ahead of himself.
"The game gets heated up," Noel said. "This isn't the same animal. The National Hockey League is a league of men that play like men. The young players are coming, there's no doubt about that. But it's a man's league, and it can eat you up quickly. And you can't make the judgment in four days."
But this is too nice a fish to throw back.
Sign the kid and see what he can do for as many as 10 regular season games, and you still retain the option of sending him back to junior.
Scheifele has earned that chance, already.