10:52AM: 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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USA Hockey has announced that Brady Skjei and Boo Nieves have survived the first round of cuts at the World Junior Evaluation camp.
USA Hockey had been using a split squad to play in the first two days of camp and these cuts were made to trim down the roster.
They have games against Canada, Finland and Sweden later this week.
USA Hockey opened up their World Junior Evaluation Camp yesterday and the split squad of Team USA lost both of their games.
USA White, featuring Boo Nieves, lost 4-2 to Sweden.
Nieves didn’t register on the score sheet but SNY’s Nick Licalzi, who is in Lake Placid to broadcast the WJC camp, said that Nieves played well and was one of the most effective forwards for Team USA.
He noted that his screening of the goalie led to Team USA’s first goal on the PP. Overall, Nick described Boo by saying he had a “very good game.”
Kirk Luedeke of Red Line Report tweeted “Nieves’ explosive speed revealed on the PK as he stole puck at blue line- off to the races. 0-60 in about 1.5 strides.”
Corey Pronman tweeted that Nieves had a breakaway where he hit the post but other than that he “wasn’t really noticeable.”
Russ Bitely tweeted “USA has to be closely watching fmr Kent prep standout & Michigan Wolverine, Boo Nieves. Showing explosive speed. Could have big soph season”
For more on Boo, CLICK HERE.
USA Blue, featuring Brady Skjei, lost to Finland 6-5 in OT
Skjei also didn’t register on the score sheet but Nick said that he was very solid defensively, makes a good first pass and would fit in well with the current crop of Rangers defensemen.
Nick also praised Skjei’s skating ability.
Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey noted that Skjei was one of the better players for Team USA in their game.
For more on Skjei, CLICK HERE.
12:55PM: Peters has more on Skjei at United States of Hockey and writes that he was a little inconsistent, but showed a lot of flashes of his defensive play as well as being more engaged in the offensive zone. He adds that Skjei has the strength and speed to be a top-four defenseman for Team USA and that as long as his decision making continues to improve, he will be on the team.
Sweden plays Team Blue and Finland plays Team White today.
At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters looks at the players who will be attending the Team USA WJC camp next week in Lake Placid.
One of those players is Rangers 2012 first rounder Brady Skjei.
Skjei was one of the final cuts from last year’s Gold Medal team but Peters says that he isn’t a lock just yet to make the team this year. Peters says that Skjei improved during his freshman season at Minnesota and that he will be one of the best skaters in Lake Placid.
He adds “I think he’ll be watched very closely throughout the camp and the first half of the year. If he can play at his best, Skjei brings a skill set the team will need to try and defend the gold medal at the WJC. He’s the type of guy the USA staff will give every opportunity to make the team.”
THIS SECTION is about Skjei.
At ESPN NY, Katie Strang asked Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton about 2012 first rounder Brady Skjei and Gorton said that it is “fair” to compare Skjei and Ryan McDonagh. Gorton said of Skjei, “he’s a tremendous skater, he has size and a lot of potential.”
Skjei said that McDonagh’s style of play is what Skjei models his own game after “We’re both good-skating defensemen who can move the puck and if I can be half as good as him I’ll be happy. He’s a guy I’d like to play like and hopefully someday I can play like him.”
Skjei says that he expects a lot of himself and thinks that he can play a shutdown role with his offensive game developing later on.
In a chat with the Rangers website, Skjei said that he would love to play like McDonagh and appreciates how McDonagh not only blocks shots on defense but also has the skill to get the puck to the net in the offensive zone.
Skjei , during Rangers prospect camp, said that he has a chip on his shoulder from being one of the last cuts for Team USA at the World Juniors last year, was focused on being a shutdown guy last season at Minnesota but thinks he can play a solid-two way game at both ends of the ice.
For more on Skjei, CLICK HERE.
USA Hockey has announced that the Rangers first and second round picks in 2012, Brady Skjei and Boo Nieves, have been invited to the World Juniors evaluation camp in August.
Skjei was one of the final cuts that USA Hockey made last year prior to the 2013 Tournament.
JT Miller played for Team USA last year and won a Gold Medal.
THIS SECTION is all about Skjei.
THIS SECTION is all about Nieves.
USA HOCKEY has announced that Brady Skjei has been cut from the World Junior team.
Skjei was a healthy scratch during yesterday’s loss.
At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes that Brady Skjei had some struggles during Team USA’s exhibition win over Sweden today.
Peters says that Skjei got a lot of ice time, made some questionable decisions, but got better as the game went along.
He adds that he isn’t sure that Skjei did enough today to move him off the bubble and guarantee a roster for Team USA.
The question with Skjei is whether he is ready for this tournament and Peters says that he isn’t so sure that he is right now.
While watching Team USA hold their evaluation camp for the World Junior Championships, Katie Strang of ESPN NY said that she was hearing that Rangers 2012 first round pick Brady Skjei was drawing comparisons to fellow Minnesota-born defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
Prior to being drafted, Skjei was described as a defenseman who can shut people down and projects to be a player similar to Ryan McDonagh.
Gordie Clark said that Skjei is the same kind of athlete as McDonagh and Chris Kreider.
Right after the draft, assistant GM Jeff Gorton said “His game is similar to McDonagh. He is a shutdown guy, elite skater, a big body. He is very willing to learn and has a lot of qualities that we like. I think it’s an untapped guy that is only going to get better and looking down the road he is a really good fit for us.”
Corey Pronman writes at ESPN Insider that Skjei has had his struggles at Minnesota but with his elite skating ability, good hockey sense and big body he still has a decent shot at gaining a spot with Team USA for the World Junios.
In The Hockey News, 12/31/12 issue, they preview Team USA for the World Junior Championships and suggest that coach Phil Housley look to reunite the pair of potential first overall pick Seth Jones and Rangers 2012 first round pick Brady Skjei.
Skjei and Jones played together for the US National Program last season and while Skjei will be fighting for a spot on the team, THN writes “if fast chemistry has any value for the US braintrust, that pairing would make a lot of sense.”
At The United States of Hockey, when breaking down defensemen, Chris Peters writes of Skjei, “Skjei is a very strong defense-first kind of defenseman with elite speed and skating to help him contribute offensively on occasion. “
READ MORE, including a recent update, on Brady Skjei.