The Skinny on Jeff Skinner

Jeff Skinner (Hammersmith Studios- Greg Thompson)
Jeff Skinner (Hammersmith Studios- Greg Thompson)

Carolina’s sweetheart and former Calder Trophy recipient Jeff Skinner has gotten back into action with the Canes after being out with a concussion. He suffered the concussion on February 14th against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-1 win for the Canes.

Since the season began, the issue of a concussion seemed to be put behind him. Skinner lost 16 games of the 2011-12 season to the IR with a concussion. Staring the season on January 19th along with the rest of the league, Skinner racked up 14 points in 12 games. Back to the Jeff Skinner Caniacs know and love, he was flying out of the gate.

After coming off a concussion, suffering another quite early in the season would be cause for concern. Skinner made his return to the lineup on February 28th, and looked like he was in fine form. 1 goal and 5 shots on the night playing slightly less at 13:55.

Jeff Skinner is a hard worker, I don’t know anyone who would argue any guy who makes the NHL isn’t. When you think about the time and effort put in to every step to make it to the NHL, it seems almost unfathomable for rookies to step onto NHL ice and stay with the big club at age eighteen. This is exactly what Skinner has done, and continues to do.

At age 20, he ranks 26th league wide in goals with 8 on the season, in 15 games.

Jeff Skinner {Photo: Dustin Hall - Flickr}
Jeff Skinner {Photo: Dustin Hall – Flickr}

Who is this kid from Markham, Ontario, Canada, that has been able to stick on the top line centred by Eric Staal? I did the obvious thing and searched YouTube to find out more about his true self. Did you know this was possible? It would be a disaster if I even attempted.

When he was 15 years old playing for the Toronto Young Nationals of the GTHL, he scored 65 goals, and 44 assists for 109 points. In 56 games. In his second year with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL in 2009-10, he scored 50 goals, and had 40 assists for 90 points in 64 games. That is domination.

The fact that videos like this exist is actually really creepy, but also attest to the fandom Skinner has created for himself.

In his second NHL game which took place in Finland against the Wild – when the NHL was hellbent on growing the game over there, or whatever – he scored a pretty shootout goal. It was a very confident move to try considering his NHL career was literally a few days in the making. This is the type of confidence that has cemented him a position alongside Eric Staal.

As a former figure skater, he also has some sweet skills like this. I wish I could do tricks like those on skates. Sigh.

So all in all, Jeff Skinner is – in the words of Ross Gheller – a neat guy. And a productive one. Which is awesome. Thanks, YouTube.