Ah…..Brady Skjei….the name that possesses a vowels to consonant ratio that can only be rivaled by Red Wings’ forward Martin Frk. The young whippersnapper represents the bridge between the murky present of the current team and a potentially brighter future built around youth and potential. The question is how good can Skjei really be, and have we seen enough to declare him a cornerstone of a franchise that can carry a team to the cup?
The answer, as you might expect is not very cut and dry. Skjei enjoyed a breakout last year. His 39 points in 80 games put him in the top 20 over the past decade of any defenseman in their age 22 season.
When looking at Weighted Shot Differential (explained in my previous post on Kevin Shattenkirk), Skjei held up well relative to the average competition he faced, although he was a bit behind other under-23 defensemen.
In fact, the biggest worry that a Rangers fan might have about Skjei is that he broke into the league rather late, which means we might have already seen the best of what he can bring from an offensive standpoint (most offense based stats, including game score, trend downward relatively early in a players career).
However, looking at players who had a comparable game score at Brady’s age and using a projection of his future game score, we can get an understanding of both his ceiling and his floor over the next five years. On one end, we see players such as Drew Doughty representing Skjei’s best case scenario, while uninspiring depth defensemen like Kris Russel and Marc Methot represent his floor.
Most ironically, the closest comparison to Skjei’s projection is Ryan McDonagh, and I’m sure Rangers fans will have no problem if Brady ends up following in #27’s footsteps."A Star in the Making? A Breakdown of Brady Skjei's Upside",