"There's not a better skater among the defensemen in camp and that's going to be a key tool for this team if Phil Housley wants an up-tempo attack. Skjei does his best work in the defensive zone and can shut down top forwards. His offense is at a decent enough level to be effective at the WJC level, particularly his ability to trigger the defense-to-offense transition. I think they'll have a tough time keeping Skjei off the final roster no matter what. He has good size, plays smart and will be a weapon on international ice potentially."
The 6' 2", 196 lb Skjei will be skating for the University of Minnesota in the fall.
...yesterday in the comments section of my post on Rangers prospects that have a chance of cracking the Rangers roster, reader "sdocb" said he's impressed with the Rangers recent trend of draft players with size and speed. Well Skjei's another example. The days of the Rangers minor league system being filled with Daweses, Fatas and Immonens are over. And we have Gordie Clark to thank for it.
...i've heard Skjei being compared to McD a number of times and I tell you what, if he comes even close to being as effective as Mac Truck, we've got a keeper.
Here's Skjei on emulating McDonagh (Bergen Record)...
"Watching a guy like [Ryan] McDonagh in the playoffs, obviously he stepped up his game and played unbelievable. I think maybe I can play like McDonagh some day. It will take a while."
Skjei added that needs to get stronger and work on being more physical on the ice.
For more prospect news, keep reading after the jump.
In other 2012 draft pick news, Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park informs as that 2nd round pick Cristoval (Boo) Nieves and his Michigan Wolverines will be taking on Cornell at the annual college hockey game held at Madison Square Garden known as the Frozen Apple on November 24th.
Rubenstein adds that Michigan has put a lot of pressure on the 6' 2" freshman as they assigned him Carl Hagelin's old #12.
From NHL Scouting Report...
"With excellent size and elite speed, Cristoval “Boo” Nieves might be the best talent from the New England Prep circuit..."
...size and speed folks, size and speed.
kudos to you on praise for gordie clark !!!!
not only getting bigger and faster thru the draft. look at the trades and fa's also.
i'd rather look at it as playing soft or hard. take callahan. not that big. but who hits harder. look at players we "lost" this post-season. anisimov and fedotenko were not "hard" players. i won't miss zuccarello. and i won't miss erixon either. both were very "soft" players. prust was as hard as nails, but too expensive. asham is a much cheaper option, and just as "hard" as prust. who is "harder" than haley, pound for pound? halpern and pyatt are easily as tough as anisimov and feds. glad they kept bickel. and nash. not many in the league are more valuable as a power forward. i can't remember the last time we had a power forward of his caliber. ooops! maybe kreider will become that kind of player. jt miller looks like he could be cut in that same mold.
In Gordie we trust.
It's a great time to be a fan and it looks like it should be for some years to come ... as long as Dolan doesn't develop an interest in the Rangers.
@RZimm2 He's 18. Always tough to tell how long of a timetable before the guy plays either major junior or college. But you have to assume he'll be at Minnesota for three years then he may need a year with the Whale. So four years would be realistic.
Should be interesting to see what the defensive situation is at that point. Possibly no Girardi or Staal.
@KevinDeLury If you were a betting man... Girardi stays, Staal goes?
@RZimm2 @TheWrage @KevinDeLury -- it's a good possibility no Girardi or Staal like Kevin says ... Staal for some of the reasons mentioned, and Girardi will already be 30 years old in two years, which isn't that old, but the kind of game he plays he may not have an extended career; that paired with how are stable of young talent may be developing at that point and it could be a different D-core in just two years.