Mark Scheifele is part of the Winnipeg Jets’ promising future, and was their first draft pick after the team moved from Atlanta to the Manitoban prairies. Not only is he one of the better young players in the league, with 31 points already this campaign, he’s multi-talented and going to try his hand at ballet. well, sort of.
He is one of 17 Winnipeggers (I know) chosen for walk-on roles during the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker, and he will be performing Friday on a Jets off-night. Normally, the walk-ons appear during the famous party scene during act one, but he’ll also appear in the opening of the ballet during a shinny game.
“I got asked by our owner, actually, if I wanted to be in the opening scene,” Scheifele said. “So I said, ‘yeah, for sure.’ I’ll probably find out more details later, but right now I’m kind of going in in the dark.”
The tradition of having Winnipeg denizens appear in walk-on roles for the RWB’s performance of the Nutcracker dates back a decade, and Scheifele isn’t the only athlete in town that’s going to take part. Winnipeg Blue Bombers RB Maurice Leggett is going to perform at the Thursday show as well.
Scheifele hasn’t done any stage acting since he was a kid, since (presumably) he was focusing on honing his hockey skills. Will he be nervous?
“Not really,” Scheifele said when asked if he was nervous. “I don’t fully know what I’m doing yet. I think it’s just out for the opening act, so nothing too intense.”
Getting the Jets into the playoffs arguably is a more arduous task than taking a few cameo roles in a ballet, to be fair.