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The Copper And Blue Top 25 Under 25: #19 -Stuart Skinner

Skinner got a taste of the pros in Bakersfield last season and expectations for him are sky-high entering 19/20

The Edmonton Oilers have quite a bit of goalie prospects in the pipeline right now.

Yesterday focused on, KHL starter, Ilya Konovalov’s future in the organization and today we will shift our attention to Swift Current star Stuart Skinner.

Skinner was heralded as a steal when Edmonton drafted him 78th in the 2017 entry draft, but there has been a number of question marks surrounding his game since. Before we get into the up and downs of Stuart Skinner’s career to-date, lets look at how the Copper And Blue crew ranked him:

Corey: 17th

Shona: 17th

Matt: 25th

Preston: 26th

Jeff: 16th

Who is Stuart Skinner?

Heading into the 2017 draft, Skinner was ranked as the 7th best goaltender available by NHL Central Scouting. He played the 2016/17 season in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, posting 34 wins in 60 games as well as a .905sv%. These numbers weren’t anything eye-popping but scouts remarked that Skinner had an excellent command of the crease that boded well with an aggressive style of play. At #78 lots of people thought Skinner was a steal for the Edmonton Oilers.

His +1 draft year started off on a rocky note. He lost 15 of his first 30 games in Lethbridge and held a below average .897sv%. These struggles were duly noted by the Oilers and Lethbridge was able to offload Skinner to a much better team in Swift Current. From here his numbers began to improve. In 25 games with Swift Current, Skinner picked up 16 wins and bumped up his sv% to a respectable .914. Swift Current would go on to win the WHL championship.

This would be the last season for Skinner in the junior ranks, as 2018/19 would see him play split some time between the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL and the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL. The bulk of the playing time would come with the Thunder. Here, Skinner would continue to have some troubles with consistency, posting 15 wins in 41 games.

He would also play 6 regular season games in Bakersfield, winning 4 of them. Despite minimal success at the pro level, Stuart Skinner finally got his chance to shine in this past season’s AHL playoffs.

The Condors were on the verge of elimination in the second round against the San Diego Gulls. Starrett had lost the previous games in the series and, head coach, Jay Woodcroft was looking for a change. That change ended up being Skinner getting the nod in the elimination game. The move would end up being a good one for the Condors, as Skinner turned away 45 shots and took a thrilling 2-1 overtime win to keep them alive.

The big win, unfortunately, would be short-lived, however, as Skinner would lose the next game by a score of 6-2.

Why at 19?

Stuart Skinner is a goaltender that has seen his fair share of up and downs in his young career. His numbers are often sporadic and has difficulty finding consistency in his game. That being said he does possess a large amount of potential.

Skinner can be a fantastic goaltender when he is playing at the top of his game. We have seen flashes of brilliance from the young man, but it is often overshadowed by the aforementioned inconsistency.

In terms of where Edmonton drafted Skinner, 78th overall, I don’t think there is any question that the Oilers are still waiting for it to pay off, but this is not a bad thing per say. Goaltenders often take a long time to develop and the jury is still out on whether the 20 year old Skinner can develop into a regular NHL player.

The results to date haven’t been everything we wanted from Stuart Skinner but there is still plenty of time for him to grow into his game.

Stay Tuned!

We are only just beginning our countdown at #19!

We still have plenty of players to feature as we count the days down to the start of the 2019/2020 NHL season!

Who do you think will come up at #18? Leave a comment below and let me know!