Jeff Skinner Bio
Markham, Ontario native Jeff Skinner was drafted in 2010 by the Carolina Hurricanes with the seventh pick overall. It proved to be a wise choice as he’d go on to capture the Calder Memorial Trophy in his debut season, making him the first Carolina franchise player to receive the award. His excellent skating ability can be attributed to the time he spent as a figure skater when growing up and he combines this with fine all-around hockey smarts.
Skinner played his junior hockey in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers where he was chosen in 2008 with the 20th overall pick in the league’s draft. He led the team in goals with 27 as a rookie and added 24 assists for 51 points in 63 games. He picked up the pace the next year with 50 goals and 40 assists in 64 contests, becoming the first Kitchener player to hit 50 goals in 23 seasons. Skinner then added 20 goals and 13 helpers in just 20 playoff outings.
The teenage winger made Carolina’s roster a few months later and scored his first NHL goal five games into the 2010/11 campaign. He finished the year with 31 goals along with 32 assists and was named the rookie of the year, becoming the youngest winner of the Calder Trophy in league history at the time. He was also named to the NHL All-Rookie Team.
The 5-foot-11-inch, 200 lb Skinner had concussion problems as a sophomore and ended the 2011/12 season with 24 goals and 20 helpers in 64 games. The Hurricanes realized how valuable he was to the lineup though and signed him to a $34.4 million contract extension over the next six years. He slipped a little in the 48-game 2012/13 season with just 24 points in 42 games. However, he followed up with 33 markers the next year before dipping to just 18 goals and 13 assists for 31 points in 77 games in 2014/15.
That was his career low point though as he then bounced back with 28 goals followed by campaigns of 37 and 24. The Hurricanes never made the playoffs in Skinner’s eight years with the club though and then decided to trade him to the Buffalo Sabres in the summer of 2018. The pending free agent in 2019 headed north to the Sabres for a young prospect named Cliff Pu who was accompanied with a second, third and sixth-round choice. Skinner skated in 579 games with Carolina and contributed with 205 goals along with 185 helpers for 379 points.
Skinner set a North American pro sports milestone in his rookie NHL season when he became the youngest player to appear in the league’s All-Star Contest. At the age of 18 years and 259 days he was the youngest participant in an all-star game in any of the continent’s four major sports leagues; the NHL, the NBA, the NFL and MLB.
As far as international hockey play is concerned. Skinner has played for his country in the World Under-17 Hockey challenge, the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, and several World Championships. He’s helped his teams win gold at the Under-17 Challenge and Hlinka-Gretzky tournament and a silver at the 2017 World Championships.
As mentioned earlier, Skinner’s smooth skating style comes from his figure skating days and he displays great balance, quickness and strength in his lower body. He’s a natural-born goal scorer with tremendous instinct around the net. He’s had problems with concussions during his career though and