With the 78th pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft the Oilers are pleased to select, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Stuart Skinner.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli and the Oilers scouting staff decided they wanted to bolster the organizational goaltending depth this season. The fact was the Oilers didn’t have a second round pick this year (Due to stupid rules they had to give that pick to Boston for the hiring of Chiarelli).
Not having the 2nd rounder they decided they’d go after a tender for there second pick of the 2017 draft. They must have really liked the Edmonton born netminder because they traded their 82nd and 126th picks to the Arizona Coyotes to get the 78th pick that brought Skinner into the organization.
So…..Just Who Is Stuart Skinner
Skinner was born in Edmonton, Alberta and the 6’3″ tender is a product of the South Side Athletic club before moving on the the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes. His WHL Career has seen him put up some decent numbers including a good showing in last years playoffs with SV% of .920 through 20 games. The regular season had him back stop the Hurricanes in 60 games with and underwhelming .905 SV%.
He was invited to Team Canada’s world junior summer showcase team, although no goaltenders showed well for Canada at that tournament, that was most likelya result of the team in front of the goalies. Skinner has a fair amount of international experience, playing in Ivan Hlinka and the World Under 17 championship, he stands a fair chance of being part of team Canada’s goaltending tandem at the upcoming World Junior Championship.
A large and agile keeper with refined skills…uses his lower half extremely well, expanding his legs in the butterfly to seal off the whole lower half of the net…his size doesn’t hamper his speed as he remains agile and in control in his movements…is very quick post to post and has great leg strength to pop up and drop down quickly multiple times on reactionary circumstances…is great at squaring up shots and is constantly searching to get the best sightline at the puck….adjusts his angles according to the shooters position and is able to swallow up numerous shots with his large torso without rebound…controls rebounds well, limiting pucks in the slot with a combination of well angled leg work and the use of his blocker…his glove hand is quick and he keeps it held in a good position…compete to never give up is exceptional…very impressive how polished he is at this stage of his career…has the potential to become a high end stopper at the pro level. (November 2016)
What Can We Expect?
Like any goalie coming out of the draft Skinner will be a long term prospect. I would rank Skinner at 6th on the goaltending prospect depth chart. Brossoit, Ellis, Svoboda, Nagelvoort, Wells then Skinner. As of right now, goalie voodoo included, that’s a solid prospect chart. Chances are only one or two of the above names will ever make it in the NHL and Brossoit is already there.
Skinner will be the the everyday starter again on a pretty good Lethbridge team, and if it all works out will get some major exposure at the World Junior championships this year. After this season there will be the option to turn pro and depending on many many factors he may end up with the Oilers ECHL affiliate, it’s also not so unreasonable to expect the guy to play his 20 year old season in junior as well as Nagelvoort and Wells will also be fighting for space in the system.
The Oilers clearly took a flyer on this guys and goalies are about as easy to predict as the weather. One can only hope that things work out for Skinner, it will only benefit the Oilers in the long run.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the video below featuring some of Skinner’s best highlights.