WINNIPEG - The continuing saga of Winnipeg Jets star-in-waiting Mark Scheifele took an interesting turn, Thursday.
Head coach Claude Noel’s comments about Scheifele before the Jets took on the Minnesota Wild suggested the team’s highly-scrutinized and probably over-analyzed first-ever draft pick isn’t making the smooth transition to the pros some may have hoped for.
At the very least, it appears Scheifele may have to reset his sights on something other than the second-line centre job.
“What’s his role going to be here?” Noel began. “That’s something I would like for him to think about. Is he going to be top-six? Is it bottom-six?
“I don’t want to put any pressure on him. He’s an offensive player and he always will be. But he should just look at the way he needs to play. Because the roles change.”
Noel says a young player trying to break into the NHL shouldn’t expect to take a purely offensive role right away.