“Possesses a great deal of power, balance and speed in his stride. Transitionally mobile and fluid. Accelerates off his first step. Defensive footwork needs to be strengthened. Sturdy and strong in front of his own net. Ties up sticks well and keeps position between opponent and net-minder. Unrefined and short circuits at times without the puck and can be sucked out of position. Needs to step up his defensive awareness and become more in sync with the play in his own zone. Could stand to be more assertive with his size. Run and gun type rear-guard that can manufacture offense and keep the opposing defenders on their heels. Jumps on loose pucks and takes them off to the races with his ability to skate the puck up ice. Slick with the puck and drives in hard with strength and creativity. Holds great vision with the puck and can distribute it like a pro. Will jump into the play often. Shows extreme confidence atop the blue line and with his pinching execution. His shot is average at best and needs to be powered up.” – Reel Hockey Scouting
“A great skater for his size, likes to support the play from the back end, above-average puck mover, can lug the puck if needed, good hockey sense, gets point shots on the net, passing skills are okay, can play on the power play. Has improved quite a bit in last few months, hasn’t reached his full potential yet. Not a hard-nosed kid, won’t play a physical style despite his size and needs to add some muscle. Not an overly creative player and his offensive production may not be great – he needs work on his consistency.” – Grant McCagg
“Skjei is an imposing defenseman who continued to grow this season and has been climbing the charts as well. For a big player, Skjei is tremendously mobile and his high-end skating ability allows him to work in transition and handle incoming forechecks. He’s still got a raw skill-set and is learning how to use his size effectively, but the Minnesota commit has an enticing skill-set that projects well at the NHL level. At this point, Skjei has to be considered to be the 2012 edition of the NTDP’s Connor Murphy, and we’ll see how he plays over the coming months as he makes a final push up the charts.” – The Scouting Report
I like it. There were players I would've picked over him, but I like it. Best player available and he sounds like he could be another McDonagh. Minnesota is also a great hockey school so I bet he will only improve (I'm sure Joe Micheletti already loves him)
Besides, the last two defensemen we got from Minnesota turned out to be pretty good: McD and Sauer
When you get past the fact that Skjei is a 6-3, 200-pound defenseman, which obviously is attractive on its own, you begin to see the breadth of his talent. For a player at his size, mobility is almost an added bonus. When you consider some scouts are calling Skjei the best skater in the draft, itís enough to make a few teams in the latter half of the first round drool at their good fortune.
Skjeiís standout tool is obviously his skating. Itís not just speed, itís the ability to use his feet efficiently with good edge work and an explosive first step. He doesnít have overwhelming puck skills, but he certainly makes up for it with his feet. He knows how to pursue and protect the puck and uses his physical tools pretty well.
It figures that Skjei has an uncle that is a skating coach, because I donít know that Iíve seen a player come into a draft as technically sound as this guy on his feet.
While his offensive upside is questionable, itís a part of his game that has shown marked improvement and could eventually round out enough to him being more of a two-way guy.
Defensively, he is pretty sound. He makes really great decisions and as long as he keeps his game simple defensively, he becomes really tough to beat. Again, a lot of that has to do with his feet.
Skjei is going to have a lot of room to skate next year at Minnesota on the Olympic ice, which should help make him an instant impact player in college. Heís going to be an exciting talent to watch as his game continues to round out.
Sounds to me like what I'm starting to think of as the Rangers-type defenseman. Tyutin, Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, Erixon, Skjei all have individual traits of their own, but are all defenseman in the same mold overall. Good, simple defensive game, probably top out at around 30 points in the NHL. Obviously McDonagh and Erixon could eventually score more, but you get what I'm driving at.
I don't care that they didn't draft a forward. I thought they would, but I don't really care.
-.+++++++++++++.-------.--.+++++++++++++.+.>+.>. New and improved Hockey Standings
"A jimmie for a jimmie makes the whole world rustled." ó -31-
I like the fact that the Rangers are trying to get more mobile as well. If they are not in a position to draft an elite talent or potential high scoring player, take players who can skate and create space which will lead to more frequent, better scoring chances.
In Gordie we trust. I know we got Erixon and Mcilrath coming soon, but who knows if they will pan out in the NHL. Rangers played with 5 dmen in the playoffs, think it's hard to be upset when your team is picking 28.
Not to mention the kid sounds pumped.
New York Rangers @thenyrangers
#NYR top pick Brad Skjei: "I am ecstatic they picked me...this is the best city, a team I followed...it's a dream come true"
I wanted Collberg but I'm not upset at all. The Rangers are building an identity and Skjei seems to fit it. Clarke and co. like him, Jonathan likes him and he definitely seems to know his **** compared to the rest of us in terms of prospects, so I'm on board.