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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 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 68 20 27 -13 47
J. Faulk 73 14 32 -18 46
E. Lindholm 72 16 20 -21 36
J. Skinner 68 18 12 -22 30
V. Rask 71 11 19 -12 30
R. Nash 67 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 69 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 73 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 45 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 37 4 15 -9 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 19 21 5 .910 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62