Mark Scheifele will become captain of the Winnipeg Jets someday, coach Paul Maurice said Thursday.
"Mark Scheifele is going to be the captain of this hockey team at some point in his career for sure," Maurice told Sportsnet. "He is, in so many ways, the driver of that offense.
"It's really refreshing in sport to see somebody that young, that mature, that grounded, who can have fun and drive himself every single day. You don't have to ask him to get off the couch and take the garbage out; it's out, it's done, he's washed your car and he's ready to go to work. And he's done it at a young age. He's just great to be around."
When Scheifele, 24, may become captain is the question. Forward Blake Wheeler, who has been with the Jets since 2011, was named captain prior to last season and has two seasons remaining on his contract.
"Blake Wheeler is absolutely the right guy, and I could talk to you for an hour about this guy," Maurice said of the 31-year-old who had 74 points last season. "There's a level of consistency that these elite guys have, and Blake Wheeler has that. He's special."
Scheifele was an alternate captain last season and finished seventh in the NHL with 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists). His goals and points have increased each season since 2013-14.
"If you get a chance to spend some time with this guy, this is the guy you want your kids to grow up to be, he is that good a person," Maurice said. "He does everything he possibly can to become a better hockey player and then does it with a smile on his face. There's lots of those guys who grind through their life and kind of grumble about how hard they've got to work. Mark does all that and enjoys every minute of it."