Jets Snapshots: Scheifele stepping up

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:29 AM ET

Of all the qualities that Mark Scheifele has been showcasing this month as we get to know the Winnipeg Jets 2011 first-round draft choice — and there have been plenty to choose from — his ability to rise to the occasion has been the most impressive of them all.

We’re still not ready to hand the seventh overall selection a spot on the opening-night roster, but he’s sure doing his part to make a strong case for inclusion.

Two days after a so-so showing against the Nashville Predators, Scheifele answered the bell once again.

Scheifele had another nice goal but, more importantly, was one of the most noticeable players on the ice Monday afternoon as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1 in St. John’s.

Right from the drop of the puck, Scheifele seemed determined to show that Saturday’s mediocre showing was the exception and not the rule.

The 18-year-old centre was around the puck for most of the contest, creating shots for himself and others and showed his nose for the net once again.

On the first goal, Jets forward Tim Stapleton got a good shot away, goalie Alex Auld couldn’t squeeze the puck and Scheifele was quick to bat it out of the air and into the net.

Scheifele now has three goals and six points in three games and, heading into games Monday night, he was the leading NHL scorer in the pre-season. He was the first star in two of the three games.

With two more pre-season games to come, Scheifele has earned the right to at least earn a longer look. Starting the season in The Show is also a legitimate possibility.

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When it comes to guys responding to the challenge, Troy Bodie fits the bill.

If you’ve forgotten, when we last saw Bodie on Saturday night, he was on the unlucky side of a double minor for roughing after Predators forward Zack Stortini opted against dropping the gloves after taking a run at Jets defenceman Tobias Enstrom.

Fighting is part of Bodie’s job, as is coming to the defence of his teammates.

Although he did the right thing on Saturday by trying to engage Stortini, the result was the Predators scored twice on the power play, including the tying and eventual game-winning goals.

When the game was over, Bodie stood at his locker and talked about what happened on the play and shared some insight into what his thought process was.

That in itself isn’t easy to do, but Bodie showed class in not losing his cool with his questioners.

His teammates were also quick to jump to Bodie’s defence and, on Monday, the big right-winger showed he can do more than fight, scoring a nifty goal in which he created a lane for himself and buried a crisp pass.

Talk about good karma.

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The more we see defenceman Tobias Enstrom, the more we like what he brings to the table.

Enstrom is a smooth skater who is going to be fun to watch this season.

We realize he had 51 points last season, but Enstrom has mostly flown under the radar during his NHL career and we have a feeling he’s about to get the credit he deserves playing on a bigger stage in a Canadian market.

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Scheifele has been the best of the 2011 draftees so far, but Ottawa’s Mika Zibanejad is also off to a nice start. He scored a pretty goal against the Jets Monday, reaching behind Ondrej Pavelec to tuck in a rebound.


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