We’ve reached the top 12 players in our 2021 Top 25 under 25. Checking in at number 12, it’s goaltender Stuart Skinner.
|2021 C&B Staff Rank||2021 C&B Reader Rank|
Both the readers and our panel agree: 12 is right where Stuart Skinner ought to be. It’s a seven point jump for Skinner compared to the last time we did the Top 25.
Goaltender Stuart Skinner was taken by the Oilers in the third round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. A pillar in the net at 6’3”, The 22 year old local played came up in the WHL with Lethbridge, he was traded to Swift Current midway through his final season in 2017-18. Skinner’s numbers sparkled in the playoffs (.932 SV%, six shutouts) as he backstopped Swift Current to a championship.
Skinner would spend the majority of his 2018-19 with Wichita (ECHL) and the majority of his time with Bakersfield (AHL) in 2019-20. It would be the 2020-21 season where he’d post a .914 SV% in 31 games with Bakersfield (6th in the AHL), he’d lead the league in wins with 20, and he’d spend some time in Edmonton as the goalie taxi squad spun wild this past season.
MOVIN’ ON UP
Skinner would get into his first NHL game against the Ottawa Senators last year, an 8-5 victory. He signed a two year extension with the Oilers last month, and has a real shot at seeing some NHL action in that two year period.
The 22 year old Skinner will likely start the season in Bakersfield where he will look to have a season as good as the one he just finished. He played in 31 games and put together a 20-9-1 record with the sixth-highest SV% in the AHL. If he could keep that good time rolling, he’ll have an inside track to becoming a major player in the upcoming years. Skinner getting into an NHL game this past season is another toe in the pool towards becoming a full time NHLer; Another year like last year could see him backing up in Edmonton when 2022-23 comes around. He will likely face competition from teammate Ilya Konovalov on his path to Edmonton, but it will be hard to turn a blind eye to Skinner, who has so far put up good numbers on his pathway to the show.
If Skinner returns another season for the Condors like he did in 2020-21, look out.