Read: Brady Skjei still has things he wants to work on/Will Return to Minnesota

SkjeiRangers Director of Player Personnel, Gordie Clark has said that he believes 2012 first round pick Brady Skjei is ready or getting very close to being ready for the pro game.

Skjei though said that he will return to Minnesota for his junior season and a chance to build on what the team accomplished last year. (Gophers)

Skjei said previously that another year in Minnesota would only help his development.

When asked what he still has to work on, Skjei said that he can still work on adding to his offensive game, jumping into the play more, trying to make more plays and also get stronger. (Rangers)

He said that there are a lot of different ways he can get better to be prepared to play at the next level. (Rangers)

Skjei said that he loves how Ryan McDonagh plays and over the past 2-3 years he has tried to model his game after McDonagh. He said that McDonagh has become a pretty big deal in Minnesota with the Rangers last few playoff runs. (Rangers)

Skjei and McDonagh have been linked/mentioned together before.

For more on Skjei, CLICK HERE.

Read: Gordie Clark on the draft, prospect camp, the goalies and Brady Skjei

Gordie ClarkAt the start of prospect camp on Monday, Gordie Clark spoke with the Rangers website about some of the Rangers draft picks and prospects (Rangers):

  • On the draft, “we went in looking for a goalie. We have been looking the last 3-4 drafts and there haven’t been a lot of what we would call number one prospects, to be a number one goalie and I don’t take them unless they are number one. This was the year we thought that their were 4 or 5 and we took Halverson and we liked him where he was sitting at the end of the second round. Then Shestyorkin, two years ago at the under 18, as an underage, was outstanding and he had a great year in the league and my Russian guy followed him a lot, we went in and looked at him a lot, we think that he is a number one prospect and by the time we picked him, we look at who is left and there are some guys that you want to try but none were considered impact players at defense of forward and this guy we had listed as a number one goalie, I didn’t go in looking for two, but he was still sitting there and sometimes we take the best player available and Shestoyrkin was there.”

Clark also spoke about the draft on Saturday.

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Brady Skjei

Read: How Brady Skjei is developing and how close he is (Update)

7/1/14 | 6:33AM: Skjei said yesterday that he isn’t sure whether he will turn pro. He says that Gordie Clark told him that he thinks he is ready but he is still thinking about it. Skjei adds that one-more year would only help his development. (The Record)

He adds that he is trying to play like Ryan McDonagh and that the Rangers defenseman is “pretty big” in Minnesota right now. (The Record)

6/29/14 | 1:23PM: The Rangers selected Brady Skjei with the 28th pick in the 2012 draft and he has spent the past two seasons at the University of Minnesota.

Skjei’s numbers went from 1 goal and 2 assists in 36 games to 6 goals and 8 assists in 40 games this season with his PIM going from 14 to 30.

In speaking at the draft in June, Gordie Clark said, “he is pretty close to being ready for the pro and we looked for his year to go exactly as it went, he had a great year, played as a regular and went to anotehr level, he was an important defenseman for them. He made the World Junior team which is the best players in the world and then went to the Frozen Four, they didn’t win but the experience for him…. he is very close to being ready for the pro.” (Rangers)

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Note: Brady Skjei is following the Ryan McDonagh Path

Brady SkjeiBrady Skjei has had an “outstanding” sophomore season at Minnesota, has gotten strong and is going in the right direction for his development. (Gordie Clark)

Skjei has three goals and four assists in 27 games this season.

He is at the same stage in his development as Ryan McDonagh was at this age and both are not only similar in style but in demeanor. (Clark)

Skjei is getting more ice-time and is responding well to increased responsibility this season. (Hockey’s Future)

For more on Skjei, CLICK HERE.

For more on Skjei and McDonagh, click HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.


Skjei took a big step forward in his development with how he played in the WJC. (USoH)

Skjei “did not disappoint” in his role as a shutdown defenseman at the WJC. He, played well in front of the net, was physical deep in the zone and used his skating when he needed to get out of trouble. Skjei didn’t take a single penalty in the tournament. (USoH)

Read: Brady Skjei Is Ready For The World Juniors

SkjeiTomorrow at 11:30AM, Brady Skjei and Team USA will play their first game of the World Junior Championships in Sweden.

Skjei was one of the last cuts from last year’s gold medal winning team and said (NHL.com) that his game has progressed, he is a smarter defenseman, a two-way defenseman that he was told he would be a shutdown guy this season.

A teammate at Minnesota told NHL.com that Skjei is one of the best skaters he has seen, that Skjei has a great stride and is unbelievably fast and can go from end to end easily.

He said that he learned how to skate like he has because his uncle is a skating coach with the Minnesota Wild.

For everything on Skjei, CLICK HERE.

Video of Skjei skating is below

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Read: Looking at Brady Skjei Heading Into The WJC

SkjeiAt the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes about Brady Skjei after Skjei was named to the preliminary Team USA roster for the WJC.

Peters says that Skjei is one of the best defensemen on Team USA this year. He says that Skjei is a “high-end skater” with good size and some physical play in his game.

He expects Skjei to play big-minutes for Team USA and that if he can pick his spots to use his skating ability to break out of the zone, he can be a real big part of Team USA.

Skjei has 2 goals and 2 assists this season.

For more on Skjei, CLICK HERE.

The WJC starts on 12/26.

Read: Brady Skjei’s Season/Has Cage Tied Up With Teammates

While looking at players who can play for Team USA at the 2014 World Junior Championships, Chris Peters writes that Brady Skjei is “thriving” in a top-four role for Minnesota.

He says that Skjei has shown growth on the ice from last season and is a very effective player when he keeps things simple.

Skjei has one goal, one assist and is a plus six.

For more on Skjei, CLICK HERE.

In a game earlier this season Skjei had his facemask tangle with a teammates while celebrating a goal.

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Read: Brady Skjei On His Timetable and Overall Game

SkjeiAt USA Hockey’s World Junior evaluation camp this past week, Brady Skjei played in two split squad games and in two of Team USA’s three games as a full unit.

In describing Skjei’s performance against Canada yesterday, a 5-1 USA win, Chris Peters said that Skjei was quiet, but “extremely effective” in his own end and he was able to combat the Canada’s attack.


In talking about his game overall, Skjei told SNY’s Nick Licalzi that he hopes to have an impact this seaosn at Minnesota that goes beyond just defensive play, “I wanna jump up in the offense more. Last year they wanted me to be a shutdown guy but this year they may give me a little bit more freedom to jump up and make plays.”

In terms of a timetable for Skjei to turn pro, he told Licalzi that he will stay in school as long as he feels is necessary and when he feels ready he will make the jump.

Skjei told Licalzi, after Team USA beat Canada, that during his week at the camp he learned that USA Hockey wants him to be a defensive defenseman who shuts down the other team’s top line.

On his goals for this season at Minnesota, Skjei said that he wants to continues to play good defense and hopes to jump up into the play more.

For more on Skjei, CLICK HERE.

Read: Brady Skjei and Boo Nieves Last Night and Today

SkjeiLast night Team USA lost 4-0 to Sweden and as of right now, they are tied 3-3 with Finland.

Brady Skjei is not in the lineup for Team USA against Finland, he is believed to be closer to locking up a spot and they want to see some other players, but did play against Sweden and SNY’s Nick Licalzi said that he had a quiet game with a couple of mistakes.

Skjei spoke with Licalzi and said that Team USA just didn’t have the right energy last night. He also noted that he sees himself more as a shooter on the PP than a set up guy.

Chris Peters tweeted yesterday that Skjei has improved a lot since last year’s WJC camp and has been more decisive with his play.

Peters expanded at the United States of Hockey and said that he is making quicker decisions, unlike last year when he was hesitant, and is using his skating ability

Boo Nieves played last night and is playing today against Finland.

Last night, Licalzi said that when Boo saw consistent shifts he was effective. Today, Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News tweeted that Nieves has been showing his speed not only on offense but on defense as well.

Peters said that Nieves showed off his speed and skill at various times last night. Today, Peters noted that Nieves was one of the standout players in the second period.

 

Note: Brady Skjei Has Had Strong WJC Camp So Far (UPDATED)

Skjei10:52AM: The GM of Team USA told Licalzi today, “Brady Skjei is a versatile player. On defense you need guys who are versatile that can play both ways. He is a guy who can play all situations for us. We need to continue to watch him. He has simplified his game to be more of a puck moving defenseman that follows up the play. He is such a great skater that he can get ahead of the play sometimes. We have seen growth in his game. He understands the big ice and defending angles and things like that.”

9:33AM: In Team USA Blue’s loss to Sweden yesterday, Brady Skjei was held off the score sheet with the exception of a cross-checking penalty.

At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes that Skjei looks pretty good to make the team. He added that Skjei’s skating allowed him to close gaps defensively and that he has gotten better at picking his spots to jump up into the play.

Skjei spoke yesterday with SNY’s Nick Licalzi and said that he was focusing on his defensive play over the past couple of year and this past year at Minnesota the coaches wanted him to play in a shutdown role.

He said that the coaches at Minnesota may want to adjust his role this year and allow him to jump into the play more and show off his offensive skills.

Skjei also played on the PK and on the second PP unit for Team USA.

Other things that Skjei told Licalzi are:

  • that he wants to be an all-around player and not a guy who is just good at offensive or at defense.
  • he wants to improve his shot from the point and get better at getting pucks through
  • Team USA will look for him to play a shut down role
  • he wants to model his game after Ryan McDonagh. “I love the way he plays. He is good in the offensive zone and really good in the defensive zone.”
  • he wants to be a leader for Team USA this year and wants to teach the younger guys the ropes.

For more on Skjei, CLICK HERE.

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