Friday, 16 March 2012

Q&A with Mark Scheifele of the Barrie Colts/Winnipeg Jets

@PuckCentralHQ: I guess ill start with how do you think your season is going, personally?

@markscheifele55: I think it is going pretty good, our team has been succeeding and that's my main focus I wanted to do whatever it takes to help the team so that's how I gauge my success.

PC: You started the year with the Winnipeg Jets, what was it like being a part of that franchises first 7 games?

MS: It was a great feeling being a part of something so passionate and exciting,it was one of the best feelings I've ever felt.

PC: It must have been really special,although you got sent down soon after what was it like scoring your first goal?Especially against the Leafs,what was running through your mind when you saw it go in?

MS: It was an amazing feeling I really wanted to score a goal and help the team so just to score made it very special but to do it so close to home made it that much better,being able to do it in front of family and friends. And I was just thinking to myslef is this really happening it was always a dream of mine and for it to actually happen made it so special.

PC: It was definitely something special to watch. You were somewhat of an "off the board" pick at 7th, were you surprised at all that the Jets took you at 7 or did you have a pretty good idea they were going to select you?

MS: I was pretty surprised, I had a feeling they had interest in me but had no idea they were going to take me but I was just honoured to be drafted because it was a dream of mine since I was a little kid.

PC: You had a huge training camp and pre-season, which surprised a lot of people, did you do anything different in the summer training wise to prepare yourself?

MS: I did the same thing I did the summer before just with different exercises to help what I needed to do to improve my strength and just continued to work my hardest every day to reach my goal of playing in the NHL and will continue to work my hardest.

PC: Well the hard work is definitely showing. What has it meant to you to have arguably the greatest Winnipeg Jet,Dale Hawerchuck as your coach? And what did he say to you about being drafted to Winnipeg?

MS: It is unbelievable having such a legend as a coach and having someone so knowledgeable about the game teach me new things about my game and he told me how great of an organization it is and how it is such a passionate place and a great city to play in.

PC: I know it maybe didn't go as planned for the team and maybe you personally but what was it like playing for Canada at the WJC?

MS: It was a great experience even though we didn't achieve our goal of winning the gold medal it taught me a lot about handling pressure and taught me about my hockey game to help me develop as a player and also it was a fun experience being with such a great group of guys.

PC: You had your Barrie teammate Tanner Pearson there with you, did it help you guys at all having each other there?

MS: Ya I think it helped a little bit having the chemistry there and knowing one guy very well but by the end of the tournament everyone was best friends which is why it made it such a good experience.

PC: On the note of teammates, what's it like having Aaron Ekblad on the team, there was a lot of hype surrounding him, what kind of an impact has he had on the team and in the dressing room?

MS: Well he is a great player and he is a great guy in the room he's a key player on our team and its only been positive he helps our team out a lot and will be a great player in the future.

PC: You guys have already clinched a playoff spot, how hard is it to try and stay focused on the season and not start thinking ahead to the playoffs?

MS: I don't think its that's hard to stay focused we still want to continue to build our team chemistry and also try to climb the standings as much as we can.

PC: We ask this to everyone, Who do you try to model your game after? Or do you just try and play like "Mark Scheifele"?

MS: I try to model my game after 2 players, Pavel Datsyuk I try to model myself after his 2 way play and his creativity with the puck and also Joe Thornton, I try to bring a big playmaking centremen but then I also try to play unique style as well.

PC: With all that said,which aspect of your game do you take the most pride in?

MS: I take most pride in just playing an all round game I don't want to just be offensive or just defensive I want to help on both sides of the puck.

PC: Okay and I have two more small questions that I probably should have asked earlier haha. Which player helped you the most during your time in Winnipeg?

MS: Probably either Bogosian or Ladd I roomed with Ladd on the road and he helped me a lot of things after games to help me with my game and Bogosian was probably my best friend when I was there we talked a lot and he helped me a lot with my game and how to conduct myself.

PC: Seems like you had two great players helping you out!. Last question now, besides your first goal and that first Jets home game what was your "welcome to the NHL" moment?

MS: Other then those 2 things it was probably travelling on a plane instead of a bus it just feels so professional and it gave me the welcome to the NHL moment.

PC: Alright well that's pretty much all I have.So thanks again for doing this, it means a lot. Best of luck to you and the team in the playoffs!

MS: No problem and thanks. :)

This interview was conducted via Twitter DirectMessage.

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