Tracking the Storm

Guy Behind the Guy: Media High on Skinner

Saturday, 06.26.2010 / 12:01 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Mike Sundheim
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Guy Behind the Guy: Media High on Skinner
A lot has been made of how Cam Fowler slipped in the first round last night, with opinions on both sides. But one thing I've heard pretty convincingly from everyone I've talked to (most of whom went out of their way to tell me) is that we got a real player at seventh overall.

Mike Sundheim
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TSN's Bob McKenzie, for one, had good things to say in a tweet last night:

@TSNBobMcKenzie: Skinner to Canes. What's not to like about 70 goals incl 20 in 20 in playoffs? Steve Spott gives him Mike Richards seal of approval. I like.

Hockey Night in Canada's Jeff Marek, who said he has been watching Skinner since minor hockey, had plenty to to tell me about the newest Canes property:

"From a skill set point of view, Skinner is elite. He probably has the best hands in the draft. He competes hard every shift, and has a strong desire to win. When the puck is on his stick, it goes in. Period."

Skinner had a monster playoffs for his junior team, the Kitchener Rangers, as the Rangers gave the eventual Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires their toughest series.

"He was amazing for the Rangers this year," said Marek. "They almost knocked off the powerhouse Spitfires in the OHL semis mainly due to his play. He was intense. Thirty-three points in 20 playoff games. Twenty goals. Unreal."

Marek, who is a self-professed draft geek, believes Skinner could have actually gone higher in the first round.

"You could have made an argument for him going third. He played his minor hockey on a line with Tyler Seguin, and they were dominating as a pair. Skinner will bring Canes fans out of their seats for years. They will love this kid."

Having never seen Skinner play in person myself yet (we'll at least get to see him in practice gear in a few weeks at the rookie conditioning camp in Raleigh), all I can say for sure is that he seems like a great kid. He was over-the-moon happy of course, and handled all of his media duties in stride, especially the consistent ribbing about his figure skating past. His family is solid too: both of his parents are attorneys, and all I seemed to hear when meeting his siblings was a list of Ivy League schools.

I did explain to him what North Carolina barbecue was after he was posed a question about it on the media conference call (how is a kid from Canada supposed to know what NC barbecue is, anyway?), but nothing was wiping the smile off of Skinner's face. And if McKenzie and Marek are right, he'll be providing plenty of smiles of Caniacs too.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72