Even in the old format of the NHL All-Star game, there are players who don’t make it that leave you scratching your head. Under the new format, it leaves the possibility of even more getting left out of the festivities.
Now with the league doing a 3v3 tournament where the teams are split up by division, it is even harder to fit every player that is deserving while also getting each team a representative.
Former first round pick Mark Scheifele is enjoying a breakout year for the Winnipeg Jets. While rookie Patrik Laine has gotten a lot of the attention, earning the team’s lone All-Star bid, it is Scheifele who finds himself in the top ten in goals and points.
Laine missing time with a concussion has allowed Scheifele to jump him in goals, and at the All-Star break, the latter leads by a lone marker 22-to-21.
It is the body of work that Scheifele brings to the table that brings his omission a shocker to most. While Cam Atkinson was an unfortunate casualty of the numbers game in the East, he eventually made the roster thanks to Evgeni Malkin pulling out due to an injury. Scheifele has yet to get that call, and with the break officially underway, it doesn’t look likely that he will.
Overall, Scheifele is seventh in points, sixth in goals and has the highest shooting percentage of anyone in the top 20 in putting the puck past the netminder.
Among scorers at 5v5, Scheifele has been even more prolific at scoring. Among all forwards with at least 700 minutes at 5v5, according to Corsica.Hockey, Scheifele is second in points per 60 minutes played. He also ranks third and fourth in goals per 60 and assists per 60, respectively.
When it comes to impacting teammates, while his puck possession numbers aren’t great – he has the worst Corsi-For% of any player not named Sedin – the rest have been among the best in the league.
His on-ice shooting percentage, which measures how often the Jets convert in scoring while he is on the ice, is the best in the league in large a lot to his own personal mark which is also the best at even strength.
His goals for per 60 and scoring chances for per 60 are also in the top ten, coming in at third and ninth, respectively.
Scheifele is one of the main reasons that the Jets’ are knocking on the playoffs door at the All-Star break. He has increased his total point output in each of his seasons in the NHL and is currently on pace to register 77 this year.
It’s unfortunate that he isn’t getting recognized for the first half of the season he has had, but at just 23 years old, at his current projection, Scheifele is going to have plenty of opportunities to make the All-Star game.