Skinner just doesn't have the upper body strength, or defensive game for the NHL yet. He definitely needs another year in the O, and if he stays past the 10 game tryout, it'll be a case of rushing.
I like Skinner alot and think you guys have a great player here (I'm from Kitchener and go to a boatload of Rangers games), but he needs to bulk up and learn a few things-- and he'll need to be converted to a winger at the NHL level.
Skinner has worked out with Gary Roberts since May, so he could be in better overall shape than he was last season with Kitchener. I'm not sold that Gary Roberts' program can instantly make you ready, but from all accounts I think the only real knock we've heard on Skinner is his skating (which seems to be taken out of context by many) & strength as an 18 year old kid potentially playing with grown, physically fit, men in the best league in the world. Gary Roberts seemed quite impressed with Skinner and now Skinner has appeared to impress the management, now whether that's 100% warranted, I don't know.
We all heard how great Boychuk looked in his first training camp and it soon prevailed he would spend more time in junior aswell as the AHL. Sutter, same thing. Staff was sold on him only to be proven wrong. Staal could and should have spent another year in junior, he wasn't built for the NHL at 18 but we opened the gates for him. Training camp, pre-season and practices are one thing, playing a grinding 82 game season in the NHL is a whole other story. Skinner may or may not prove to be ready, I think that decision will be made within the 9 (I believe it is..) game limit. If he plays well, he'll obviously stick, if not, I feel confident he'll go back to Kitchener. Most 18 year olds aren't completely ready for the NHL and Skinner could very well fall into that camp.
I am just not sure he's ready for the NHL... If we had a team that had huge talent in the top 6, I could see him playing on the third line, but I'm a little miffed about where he will play here... He can't play 4th line minutes and I don't think he can play top line minutes... so that leaves second and third line minutes... And with Tlusty on a one way and POS signed where does he fit... I mean, I'd love to see Cole or Sammy gone to make room, but that won't happen either... I mean does Boychuk go back the A to make room for Skinner? and Osala can kiss his chance this year good bye...
That's why they have the preseason and implemented the 9 game "tryout" rule. These things will work themselves out. If Skinner is better than most of those guys, then he will stay and the rest will have to fight it out for the one less remaining spot. If he's not better than the top 9 forwards, he will be sent back to juniors. They're not dumb enough to keep him up here to play 4th line minutes, as cynical as some of you guys want to be about it to think they would.. I know they let Sutter play on the 4th line but that was one year after his draft year, and he was a completely different type of prospect. Players are still going to have to prove they belong, especially with all the competition this year.