NHL Draft Prospect Profile #24: Brady Skjei
Drafted 28th Overall by the New York Rangers.
Brady Skjei (pronounced Shay) is our 2nd ranked player from the US NTDP. A member of the squad’s deep and impressive blue line core, Skjei joins fellow defence mates Jacob Trouba, and Patrick Sieloff as top 50 ranked prospects. Skjei was a member of the US Team that recently won gold at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships. We believe that his impressive showing as part of a dominant Team USA blue line, should leave a favourable impression with NHL Scouts and greatly help his draft stock. Skjei is a Minnesota boy and is committed to join the fabled Golden Gophers Hockey Team at the University of Minnesota next year.
Born Mar 26 1994 — Lakeville, MN
Height 6.03 — Weight 183 — Shoots Left
Skjei continues our run of effective skating defencemen available for this year’s NHL entry draft. He possesses excellent edgework and agility for a big man. He has very good mobility, balance, and makes quick pivots. Skjei has above average speed and uses it to join the rush. This skating ability helps him in both the offensive and defensive zones.
Offensively Skjei is always willing to join the rush. He handles the puck well, and is willing to make dynamic rushes, and take the puck right to the net. On the Powerplay Skjei is a good passer who makes smart decisions and can make creative passes putting the puck on the tape of his teammates. However his slapshot needs work and is below average when compared to the other defencemen available in the first round.
Defensively Skjei uses good positioning, hockey sense and his great skating to keep defenders to the outside. He also is pretty effective at keeping the crease clear for the Americans and at picking up loose pucks. He uses his size to limit passes and chances against.
Skjei possess the ideal height that NHL teams always seem to look for among defencemen. He is listed at 6’3″ and may still be growing. However at only 183 lbs, Skjei will have to spend time in the weight room and bulk up before being ready for the rigors of pro hockey. Despite his great size Skjei is not a physical defender. We would like to see him be more aggressive and really start throwing his body around out there. If Skjei can learn to harness the physical aspects of his game he could become a top 2 defender in the NHL. However we currently see him as more like to top out as a 2nd pairing player. We’d compare Skjei’s game to Rostislav Klesla of the Phoenix Coyotes.
… and thats the Last Word.