PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: Brady Skjei, 28th overall pick by the New York Rangers, poses with Rangers representatives on stage during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
So for the third year in a row Blueshirt Banter and Russ Cohen have reached an agreement in which Russ gives us his analysis of the New York Rangers' prospects. Below the jump is his review of Skjei.
For those of you who don't know Cohen is an author http://www.amazon.com/Russ-
Read below the jump for his preview.
Brady Skjei, pronounced "Shea," was an interesting draft pick for sure.
The Rangers may have gone out on a limb, just a tad, to select him where they did but the NTDP teammate of Jacob Trouba (drafted 9th overall by Winnipeg) has a good reputation as a solid all around defenseman.That team was so special that besides these two players Stefan Matteau was drafted 29th overall by the New Jersey Devils and defenseman Seth Jones could be a top 5 pick in 2013.
Some other first rounder's came out of the USHL so the talent that Skjei played with and against was good.This Lakeville, Minnesota native is now 6-2, 203, he has worked out hard and did add some bulk before the draft (he was 6-1, 183). It's hard to tell if this blueliner will ever produce any kind of appreciable offensive output but at Lakeville, north high school he did rack up 37 points in 50 games but since then his numbers have fallen a bit.
In order to declare a draft a success a team will look to nab at least 1-2 future professionals from it each year. Skjei is destined to be a pro. He's has the pedigree playing for the NTDP and now he will play for Don Lucia and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Already known for being a good skater this rearguard could really elevate his game with some added physical play. He already has a gold medal playing on the 2011-12, U-18 team and his future is very bright. He had one goal in six games in that tournament, but he was a tournament best +10 and that's pretty impressive. In college he will get a lot of ice time and opportunities and he's likely to spend 2-3 years there before turning pro.
His speed bursts and solid stick and puck control makes me think he will be a second pairing defenseman when he settles in New York someday. In college Skjei will wear #2.
When his time comes he certainly will have to choose a new number since Brian Leetch's number 2 hangs proudly from the MSG rafters as a retired number. Right now the Rangers currently have Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, and Mike Sauer, all whom were drafted players. Skjei should rate somewhere between Staal and Sauer when it's all said and done. Skjei's uncle is Barry Karn who is a very successful skating coach. He's been on six NHL team's payroll's including the New York Islanders and he's the current skating coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues and the Calgary Flames.
Here is some footage of Brady's first meeting with the media right after he was selected:
Russ Cohen is an author http://www.amazon.com/Russ-