Leading up to the 2011 draft, Flordiapanthers.com will be highlighting some of the top prospects to look out for. At number 3, the Panthers have a lot of players to choose from. What direction and who will they pick?
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THE SKINNY: Looking for an initial impact in the draft and you might look no further than center Mark Scheifele. The Barrie forward led all OHL rookies in assists (53) and finished fourth in points (75). That start allowed him to be ranked 16th overall among North American skaters by Central Scouting.
Scheifele's breakout season didn't just stop outside of the OHL. He led all Canadian forwards and was named one of Team Canada's best players of the tournament after recording six goals and eight points in seven games at the 2011 Under-18 World Championships.
NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards: “Mark protects the puck very well and will take it to the net while fighting through checks. He's got a great work ethic. His Barrie Colts have struggled this season and he has been relied upon to provide offense. He sees the ice very well and his playmaking ability is very good. He gets back quickly and works hard defensively."
NHL Team: Detroit Red Wings NHL Player: Pavel Datsyuk Goal Celebration: "Bow and Arrow" Website:NHL.com Pump-Up Song: "Remember The Name" by Fort Minor Home-Cooked Meal: Pasta Activity Away From The Rink: Mini Sticks
NEWS: Scheifele Excelled Against OHL's Best (05.13.11) A year ago, the Barrie Colts were cruising to the best record in the Ontario Hockey League behind a handful of players who since have graduated to professional hockey careers, including 2010 first-round Entry Draft pick Alexander Burmistrov.
Meanwhile, Mark Scheifele was starring with the Kitchener Dutchmen of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League and considering the OHL or a chance to play at Cornell University.