Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jet knows just what Scheifele will face

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HE'S been there and done that.

He's also been Mark Scheifele's teammate for a short time and has a pretty good insight as to what the 19-year-old Winnipeg Jets draft pick is all about.

Jets captain Andrew Ladd, a gold-medal winner on the world stage at the 2005 world junior in Grand Forks, N.D., was asked to peer into the next few weeks to see what's ahead of Scheifele and Team Canada.

"He's a high-end player so he'll fit in wherever," Ladd said regarding Scheifele's apparent change of position to right wing for this tournament. "I think that's the unique part of these world junior teams, that everybody puts their ego aside and finds a way to help out.

"If that means playing out of position, that's what guys will do."

So far Scheifele has been matched with a pretty good skill group, including linemates Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jonthan Huberdeau.

"I think at that level with that group, all those guys are used to playing on a big stage, being go-to guys for their individual team," Ladd said. "I don't think that's ever a problem. The level of confidence that Nugent-Hopkins will bring to that group will definitely help. He's going to be a guy they're going to rely in latter parts of games and in clutch situations.I'm sure he's excited for that opportunity."

Ladd, who has participated on the world stage on several occasions, including for Team Canada at world championships in Europe, doesn't think this particular world junior assignment -- 12 time zones away in central Russia -- will matter too much.

"I think once you get over there, it's not a big factor," he said. "Obviously travel and getting over the jet lag is something you have to deal with. But I think Hockey Canada is really good about going about it the right way, trying to find the best way to make sure guys are going to have the most energy possible.

"Once you get into the tournament, there's so much excitement and so few games that it's pretty easy to get up for them and find energy."

-- Tim Campbell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 14, 2012 C2

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