Despite the consensus that Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin will go 1-2 (never-mind the order, for now) there is another draft-eligible OHL player who outpaced both of them in goals in the regular season and the playoffs. It’s probably not a surprise given the title of this post, but that player is forward Jeffrey Skinner, who led the OHL in playoff goals and finished second in the league in regular season goals (behind the much older Bryan Cameron).
Naturally, goal-scoring is at the top of any list of Skinner’s attributes. He gets to places where goals are scored from, and his release isn’t second to anyone. Skinner’s puck-craft is quite good elsewhere; he’s a flashy player who can beat defenders and goaltenders in a variety of ways. Not only that, but he’s stocky and plays the game with all kinds of effort and grit and not letting anyone keep him out of the danger areas in front of the net. He’s also reportedly made all kinds of progress at playing a two-way game.
Skinner isn’t a perfect player, though. His skating needs some work. He isn’t tall; he’s listed at 5’10” and doesn’t have the kind of reach that other top players in the draft do. McKeen’s also noted that he can be immature at times, although he stepped it up in the playoffs.
I love this player’s skill-set, and given his goal-scoring prowess I’m always a little surprised to see him projected as far down as some of the mock drafts have him.
McKeen’s Rank: #12 - “Stealth-like in his approach, he is always in position to score as his stick preparation is superb.”
THN Rank: #25 – “‘I love him,’ said one scout, who has Skinner in his top 10. ‘I think people are going to wonder like they did with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter how this guy fell the way he did. He’s completely underrated and he should be a top-15 pick at worst. He might end up being the steal of the draft.’”