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Schiefele quickly adjusts to NHL game

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG – Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele's 2012-13 hockey itinerary included another stop Saturday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.

Before arriving in Winnipeg, Scheifele had posted 22 goals in 30 games with the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts and skated for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. Scheifele logged on game with Barrie earlier this month before the Jets summoned their 2011 first-round selection to training camp.

Scheifele played seven games with the Jets last season before they returned him to Barrie, but he started against Ottawa playing the right side on Winnipeg's fourth line.

"I felt a little nervous off the start and the legs were a little jittery," Scheifele said, "but as the game went on, I felt a little bit better each and every shift. I just have to continue to build off that."

"Obviously, it's a different game than junior," Scheifele continued, "so it's a huge stepping stone to get up to. I definitely felt good, and I thought my legs felt good after the first few shifts. That helped a lot. It's a tough game, so you have to learn quick. "It's a tough League, everyone has got your stick, so you've got to be quick and be smarter than them. I can learn from today a lot."

Jets coach Claude Noel liked Scheifele's season debut and skated Scheifele for 11:49.

"I thought that Scheifele took advantage of the situation he was in, playing as a right wing in the [NHL]. I thought he created some chances, had a nice game. I thought that he played pretty well for the amount of minutes that he played."

Noel also paired Scheifele with Alexander Burmistrov and veteran Nik Antropov.

"I was trying to find openings. Playing with guys like Burmistrov and (Antropov), they‘re great players, they have great vision, and I was just trying to get open."

The Jets departed for Boston after the game for a date Monday with the Bruins.

"I have no expectations," Scheifele said of playing Boston. "If I have the chance, I want to go out and work my hardest and hopefully, earn more ice time each and every day. It's whatever the coach is feeling. I just want to be a reliable, responsible player out there and do whatever it takes to help the team win."

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