Read: Brady Skjei Scouts JT Miller and Steven Fogarty

A few weeks ago Rangers prospects Brady Skjei, Steven Fogarty and JT Miller attended USA Hockey’s World Juniors evaluation camp to try and prove that they deserve to represent the United States at the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia.

Skjei, who is likely to land a spot on defense for Team USA, spoke with Blueshirts United about his future teammates in Fogarty and Miller.

“Fogarty had a really good camp as a really good two-way center. He played well in his defensive zone, but also made plays in the offensive zone.”
“JT, obviously, is a really top talent. He can score. He works hard. And he also has that little edge to his game.”

Skjei also praised Miller’s leadership qualities.

The tournament starts on December 26th and ends on December 5th.

CLICK HERE for a section on Skjei.

CLICK HERE for a section on Miller.

CLICK HERE for a section on Fogarty.

Read: Brady Skjei Should Have A Spot On Team USA

At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes that Brady Skjei was Team USA’s best defenseman yesterday in their skeleton crew loss to Finland.

Peters notes “Skjei was his normal, slick-skating self, but showed even better puck-moving skills than he’s displayed previously in camp.”

He adds that Skjei deserves a spot to be a fifth or sixth defenseman on the World Junior team in December.

CLICK HERE for a section dedicated to Skjei.

Read: Brady Skjei Impressed Yesterday

In Lake Placid yesterday USA Hockey held the first of two two games to evaluate prospects for the World Junior Championships.

2012 first round pick Brady Skjei, along with his defense partner were players that impressed Julie Robenhymer.

She writes of the two “hey had great puck movement, played with confidence and made smart decisions. They have an advantage because they played together last year and already have chemistry, but if it ain’t broke….”

His defense partner was Matt Grzelcyk who was a third round pick of the Bruins.

JT Miller had an assist in the game.

Read: The Role Brady Skjei Could Have At The World Juniors

At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters looks at the defensemen who were invited to the Team USA World Juniors camp and says of Rangers first round pick Brady Skjei “I think they’ll have a tough time keeping Skjei off the final roster no matter what. He has good size, plays smart and will be a weapon on international ice potentially.”

Peters adds that Skjei is the best skating defenseman in the USA camp and that he could be a key player in transition and to push an “up-tempo attack.”

Skjei has represented Team USA as a member of the Under 17 team and the Under 18 team over the past two years.

He will play for the University of Minnesota this coming season.

CLICK HERE for a section on Skjei.

 

Read: What College Will Do For Brady Skjei

Brady Skjei told MN Hockey Prospects that when he was playing high school hockey in Minnesota he was an offensive player who didn’t play much defense.

Skjei then went to play for the US National Team in Ann Arbor, Michigan and says that he became a much more complete defenseman.

On what he expects from going to college, Skjei told the NY Post, “I think going to Minnesota with their coaching staff will help my game a ton so I keep progressing over the next couple of years.”

On Skjei, Jeff Gorton said to the Rangers website “He is going to grow, play a lot and I see some similarities to Kreider. He are going to compete for championships and Michigan is a good place to develop.”

When asked to describe his game, Skjei told the Rangers website, “I would say I am a smooth skating two-way defenseman that can play on the PP but also play solid shutdown defense.”

Gorton added “he is a guy we had targeted for a while. He is a good shut down defenseman that can skate, comes from a good family and it fits in with what we have been doing the last five years.”

When asked to describe his game, Skjei told the Rangers website, “I would say I am a smooth skating two-way defenseman that can play on the PP but also play solid shutdown defense.”

Grant Sonier writes at ESPN Insider that Skjei is one year away from being able to play in the NHL. He says that the biggest obstacle to Skjei making the Rangers when he is ready is the amount of players the Rangers already have on the roster.

Read: Being In The Ryan McDonagh Mold

Following the first round of the draft, Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton said to the Rangers website that first round pick Brady Skjei was similar to a player the Rangers currently have on their roster.

“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.”

MN Hockey Prospects, which follows Minnesota born prospects heading into the NHL Draft said of Skjei, “Some may be alarmed by his low scoring totals, not to worry, this will come with time as Skjei’s a top talent that projects to be a Ryan McDonagh type player.”

Skjei said that he started to follow the Rangers because they had Minnesota boys Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan on the team.

Gordie Clark told the NY Post, “He’s in the same vein as what’s been successful for us on defense. He’s an elite skater, an elite athlete, a good, solid two-way guy.

More on Skjei, HERE.

Read: How Brady Skjei Got So Good At Skating

In The Hockey News draft preview, a scout said of Rangers first round pick Brady Skjei that watching him skate is like “poetry.”

According to Michael Russo in the Star Tribune, skating is a family trait.

One of Skjei’s uncles is Barry Karn, one of the top power-skating instructors in the country. Karn has worked for five NHL teams, including the past six years for Calgary, and is a consultant for the Wild, having worked primarily with its prospects.

“Ever since Brady was a little kid and we were just pushing him around on a chair just trying to make sure he was having fun at the rink, skating has been his strong suit. Obviously, it’s just progressed from there. He’s worked really hard at his skating.”

On Skjei, Gordie Clark said to the Rangers website, “He is the same kind of athlete as McDonagh and Kreider. There is nothing fancy about him but he does have one of the hardest shots out of any player in this group but is known for his PK and 5 on 5 play.”

Read: Brady Skjei SHUTS PEOPLE DOWN

The Rangers used their first round pick last night on defenseman Brady Skjei.

On Skjei, Kyle Woodlief of Red Line Report writes at USA Today, “Strong shutdown defender with fine skating ability and decent puck skills. Makes crisp breakouts and can also skate the puck out of danger. He has grown much bigger and stronger over the past year.”

MN Hockey writes, “Some may be alarmed by his low scoring totals, not to worry, this will come with time as Skjei’s a top talent that projects to be a Ryan McDonagh type player.”


Adam Rotter: Defensive depth is clearly something the Rangers are valuing with Dylan McIlrath, Tim Erixon and now Skjei in the system. His skating ability, just like that of Ryan McDonagh, seems to be off the charts and the Rangers would obviously love to see him develop into the same kind of player.

NEWS: Rangers Select Brady Skjei

With the 28th selection in the 2012 NHL Draft, the New York Rangers have selected defenseman Brady Skjei.

He is 6-3, 203 and played for the US Development program.

His favorite NHL player is Cam Fowler and his favorite movie is Miracle.

He was ranked 37th by Future Considerations who write, “A smooth skating two-way defender with enticing upside. His skating is sneaky fast with incredibly explosive acceleration. He utilizes his skilled hands by starting the attack: Rushing the puck up the ice from his defensive zone into the offensive zone before dishing it off or taking a shot. He has a heavy, accurate slapshot that is a weapon from the point. He makes good use of his long reach, showing strong puck protection and good gap control in his own zone.”

“He makes simple, solid touch passes on the rush but needs to utilize his good breakout pass more often. He is at his best when he simplifies his game and moves the puck but also has an eye on his defensive responsibilities; he has a little river boat gambler in him. Questions arise regarding his hockey sense as every time Skjei touches the puck, he wants to take it end-to-end, even with an opposition’s entire defense in his way. He can also fall into funks of being turnover prone, and is sometimes unwilling to just make the simple play. Is the kind of player whose physical ability masks questionable hockey sense. He’s headed to the University of Minnesota.”

The Hockey News ranked him 26th and calls him a “smooth skating defenseman.” The Hockey News says that he is the best skating defenseman available and one scout said “watching him skate is like poetry.”

They add, “He is effortless and massive, which makes him attractive. His skating ability for his size is frightening. “When somebody gets him at the next level and tells him ‘Just be simple and go with your skating stride’ he’ll be a real effective NHLer.”

US National coach Danton Cole says, “His game has improved greatly, both offensively and defensively. He’s a tremendous skater and a good example of a guy who understands the little nuances of playing defense. He’s thrived in the [USNTDP] program and is a physical specimen; he’s big and strong and has made great strides in learning how to play the game. His angling is good and he has put himself in a really good position moving forward in his career.”

Pierre McGuire said, “This is a smart pick by a team that has had good success growing talent.”

Bob McKenzie said he is a good skater with a good stride. He skates like Bret Hedican and he has great skating ability and great ability to recover.