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12-25-2013, 10:57 AM
  #71
HatTrick Swayze
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Personally, I don't think it's a reach at all to project Skjei's upside DEFENSIVELY as comparable to what McDonagh is now.

McDonagh was an elite offensive defenseman in HS. That's how he won Mr Hockey. Always a good skater with pretty good puck skills. He was seen as a bit of a "raw" or "tools" prospect, which is one of the reasons why he didn't even make the WJC post-draft as a 12th overall pick. Really improved and focused on the defensive side of his game at Wisco. Ironically this focus on defense is often cited as why Montreal was willing to part with him. His offensive game was "stagnating". Then he made the NHL on skating and defense. Now we are starting to see his offensive abilities develop and shine through at the NHL level. As he gets comfortable.

Skjei does not have the same ceiling offensively as McDonagh, IMO. Mostly due to hands and vision, his shot is good. Just natural offensive instincts are not there in the same way they were with McD. But if he develops well I think he could definitely play like McDonagh in the defensive zone, winning footraces to counter odd man rushes, and hopefully in transition. He is also a "tools" prospect. Development curve has not been too far off of McD thus far...but I just don't think he has the same innate offensive ability.

Staal was an absolute beast his last year in juniors, especially in the playoffs. Man child. Chara of the OHL. Neither Skjei or honestly McDonagh were like that at their respective levels though the NCAA is a different animal entirely. But Staal was the total package offensively and defensively.

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