The 18th ranked player on our top 25 under 25 ranking list, and, more importantly, our number one ranked young goaltender is former Lethbridge Hurricane and Swift Current Broncos, and 2018 WHL champion: Stuart Skinner.
Skinner is a 6’3’’, 203lb goaltender, who the Oilers drafted in the 3rd round (78th overall) in the 2017 NHL entry draft. He is an Edmonton native, who grew up playing for the south side athletic club before being drafted by the Hurricanes in the first round of the 2013 Bantam Draft.
Skinner had a solid first full season as a WHL starter, with the Hurricanes in 2014-15, posting a .909 save % in 43 games. In 2015-16, Skinner took another step forward, with an impressive .920 save % in 44 games. In his draft year, Skinner took a step back statistically, with a .905 regular season save %, although he did post a solid .916 save % in 20 playoff games that year. Last year, Skinner struggled statistically with a poor Lethbridge team, posting a .897 save percentage, before being traded to a contending Swift Current Broncos squad. With Swift Current, Skinner posted a respectable .914 save % in 25 regular season games, before getting extremely hot in the postseason, where he posted a .932 save % in 26 games, en route to a WHL championship.
This year, Skinnner will get the chance to test his skills against professionals with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors. Skinner’s rise to prominence in last season’s WHL playoffs has made him the front runner for the title of “Goaltender of the future” in the eyes of many Oilers fans.
With the Oilers’ former goalie of the future, and 2017-18 backup Laurent Brossoit signing with the Jets organization over the offseason, and Brossoit’s running mate in Bakersfield for the last two years, Nick Ellis, announcing his retirement, an opportunity has presented itself for Skinner to rocket through the organization’s goaltending hierarchy.
*All stats and draft information where researched at Elite Prospects.