Previewing the 2010 NHL Draft: Jeff Skinner

Skinner_mediumName: Jeff Skinner

Position: Center

Height: 5-10

Weight: 187 lbs

Age: 18

Home Country: Canada

Playing In: Ontario Hockey League (Juniors)

Scouting reports after the jump.....

Scouting Reports

My Take: In my opinion, Jeff Skinner is one of the more under-rated gems in the upcoming draft class. He may not be a smooth skater, but his goal scoring abilities are far superior to some of the other sniping centers that will also be drafted into the National Hockey League later this June. This is also the case for Islanders' forward John Tavares, who seems to be doing just fine at the pro level. Skinner may not be as skilled as Tavares but I think all the questions about him being able to compete in the NHL are nonsense.

Hockey's Future: Turned in a breakout season with the Rangers, scoring 50 goals and adding 40 assists for 90 points in 64 games. He was second in goals in the OHL, and seventh overall in scoring. Skinner also registered 72 penalty minutes. He led the Rangers to a long playoff run, leading the Rangers in scoring with 20 goals and 13 assists for 33 points in 20 games. Played for Team Orr at the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game, picking up a goal and an assist in that contest. He was named Team Orr's Player of the Game in that contest. Read More...

NHL Fanhouse: It doesn't take a genius to figure out where Skinner is at his best. This guy is a pure offensive player, a goal scorer. He's Marian Gaborik without that elite skating ability.

Skinner, once a figure skater, took the OHL by storm this season, tallying an eye-popping 70 goals in 84 games between the regular season and the playoffs, where Kitchener lasted all the way to their conference final before they succumbed to Windsor.

He's not a terribly big center, but he's lethal in front of the net, and he has tremendous hand-eye coordination. If his skating ability catches up to his goal-scoring acumen, Skinner will become one of the best players out of this draft. For now, some scouts are drooling, while others are questioning his ability to keep up with NHL players. Read More...

The Hockey News: Jeffrey Skinner was once a nationally-ranked figure skater in Canada, which makes the knocks on his skating ability hard to comprehend. But there is no criticism of his scoring ability since Skinner was one of just two OHL 5-goal scorers this season.

"His ability to get open and finish puts him with Taylor Hall, but he doesn't skate like Hall," one scout said. "He's definitely a game-breaker. If he gets another step, he could be a Mike Cammalleri." (Read More in THN Draft Preview 2010 edition)

Projected to be Drafted: Top 15