Today Winnipeg Jets rookie Mark Scheifele signed his first professional contract, a three year deal worth $900,000 annually, plus a $700,000 signing bonus. After signing his first contract he’ll have a few big decisions to make.
The first decision is his number. The 7th overall pick has worn number forty-five throughout training camp, one of those high numbers that are given to rookies because they haven’t earned the right to select their own. Scheifele said this morning that he may change it, his first selection is number nineteen, currently worn by Jim Slater.
One number he won’t be selecting is number ten, Scheifele spoke to his junior coach Dale Hawerchuk about wearing his coach’s former digits.
“He said you could take it if you want, but I wouldn’t do that, that’s his number, I wouldn’t take number ten.”
While Scheifele was mum this morning on what number he was going to choose, this afternoon on (soon to be named) TSN Radio 1290’s Hustler & Lawless Show, he said that he is most likely not staying with forty-five, and will make an announcement in the next day or so.
The former Barrie Colt hoed and hummed over a few options, his “go to number” in 55 or 19, which he wore throughout minor hockey. “Lucky” number 7, which also happens to be his draft spot, and his final choice was 21, just because.
Fans who are planning on purchasing a jersey with his name on it may want to hold off on their purchase for the next day or so.
Another decision to be made is living arrangements, currently the rookie has been living in a hotel for three and a half weeks. He’ll have to sort that out now that he looks to be in Winnipeg for a while. When Sidney Crosby entered the league, he lived at owner Mario Lemieux’s house, while nothing was mentioned about living with owner Mark Chipman, Scheifele said he would prefer to live with another player. The details should be sorted out this week.
When any teenager signs a multi-million dollar contract, one would think that the first instinct would be to buy themselves a nice gift, a shiny new car, an iPad, or an XBOX 360. Not Mark Scheifele, showing his maturity, he said that he would be buying gifts for his family.
“(The first purchase) will probably be something for my family, because they’ve done so much for me, they’ve always been there for me. Probably something for my brother and sister, and probably my parents too, that will be the first thing.”
The teenager was asked how he stays so humble, and so grounded, he replied with it was a case of learning from his family, and loving the game of hockey.
“I think it’s just growing up through the years, my family, we practice good morals and stuff like that. They’ve helped me through it and groomed me throughout the years, I thank them a lot. It’s also just loving the game of hockey, that’s the biggest thing, when you love it you’ll be happy with whatever happens, to do it for a living is an unbelievable feeling, that’s what drives me, it motivates me, that’s why I always want to have a smile on my face, I’m always happy I’m at the rink, I get to do what I love everyday and get paid for it, I’d do it for free.”
Since the day he was picked number seven overall by the Winnipeg Jets, Scheifele has had a big smile on his face. This is a player that the City of Winnipeg can relate to and get behind. We wish Scheifele the best of luck this season and hope he continues to show the poise and maturity he has shown thus far.
Author’s note: Earlier on the weekend a twitter account for Mark Scheifele was created, Scheifele confirmed today that it in fact was not him and he is not on Twitter or Facebook