Winnipeg Jets: How Mark Scheifele would impact each NHL Division

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
Winnipeg Jets
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Metropolitan Division

I’ve saved the best for last. Because now we might see where Winnipeg’s newest addition would stack up next to Scheifele himself:

  1. Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins): 63.0% – 6th Overall
  2. Mika Zibanejad (New York Rangers): 62.4% – 7th Overall
  3. Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins): 58.6% – 10th Overall
  4. Sean Couturier (Philadephia Flyers): 52.4% – 13th Overall
  5. Matt Barzal (New York Islanders): 49.7% – 18th Overall
  6. Niklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals): 45.5% – 20th Overall
  7. Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes): 45.1% – 21st Overall
  8. Nico Hischier (New Jersy Devils): 36.1% – 26th Overall
  9. Pierre-Luc Dubois (Columbus Blue Jackets): 33.8% – 29th Overall

Was Mika Zibanejad really better than Malkin last year? His sample size was small due to injury, but when Zibanejad was on the ice last season, he was scoring at a torrid pace. For those who might say that’s due to the Panarin effect, that wasn’t the story last year. Panarin had a slow start while Zibenajad came out of the gate hot.

Sebastian Aho suffers from the Bergeron bias. For a player in the <36th percentile for TOI vs. elite, his offensive contribution at Even Strength and the PP was solid but not outstanding. But like Bergeron, Toews, or Kopitar, Aho’s real value is as a Two Way Center.

Aho’s not overly physical, but he’s quick and excels at gap control. This means that he is very good at taking the puck carrier’s space away and forcing them to give up the puck. I believe we will be hearing more about him in years to come, as the Hurricanes continue to trend towards being a perennial Cup contender.

With Aho’s defensive skill set, I was a little surprised to see that his CDiff was only 49th percentile. But that’s only because Carolina is a very strong Corsi team overall. Aho is still pretty good at controlling the shot share on a team that’s really good at doing that overall. In fact, he still makes the Hurricanes 2.5% better when he’s on the ice.

It’s hard to say how Scheifele’s CDiff would change on a team like Carolina. He might struggle to keep up on a team that doesn’t like to bleed chances. But Scheifele is a very smart player, and smart players are adaptable. And either way, I think his offensive output would most likely overmatch Aho’s.

Verdict: Scheifele would be the First Line Center on every team in the Metro Division, except the Penguins and the Rangers.

Next, I’ll look specifically at Scheifele and Dubois.