Brady Skjei deserves Calder votes

brady skjei
Bruce Bennet/Getty Images

I swear I am not stealing Joe Fortunato’s post. I had this idea on Tuesday and today was the first chance I got to write/post it. Don’t hate, Joe. 

One of the many bright spots this season has been the evolution of Brady Skjei. Called up briefly last season, Skjei looked nervous in his first NHL action. It was clear there was potential and that he deserved to be in the lineup regularly, but he needed a little more seasoning and experience.

When this season started, Skjei was put into a sheltered role on the third pair. This gave him the opportunity to gain confidence in himself, but also gave him the chance to earn Alain Vigneault’s trust. Fast forward to March 10, and Skjei is easily the best non-Ryan McDonagh defenseman on the team.

Skjei is second on the Ranges in defensive scoring, with a line of 3-29-32. That’s four points (all assists) behind McDonagh.  That is also good for second among rookie defensive scoring, behind Zach Werenski and his 9-30-39 line. He’s also ninth in overall rookie scoring.

But Skjei’s impact goes beyond the score sheet. Skjei has brought some balance to the blue line, something the Rangers sorely need. When four other starters are inconsistent on their best days, Skjei has shown versatility to play up and down the lineup and on either side. It’s easy to forget that this is his rookie year and he’ll turn just 23 this month.

Skjei won’t win the Calder. He won’t even finish in the top-five. But he is deserving of some votes for the season he is having. He’s not flashy. He’s not going to rake in the points. But he has already established himself as the #2 on the Rangers behind Ryan McDonagh. That’s an incredible feat. The future is bright for Skjei.

"Brady Skjei deserves Calder votes", 5 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.

33 thoughts on “Brady Skjei deserves Calder votes

  • Mar 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    So….if everyone is playing a 1-3-1 power play now, and we already have a first unit D, and Skjei is a very cost effective second unit guy, why do we need to over pay for Shatty?

    Say he gets 7. And long term. And we need to buy out one of the anchors. Cap still isn’t going anywhere. With the buyout, Shatty’s contract is more like 10 to the cap because of the buyout. We might already have Shattenkirk. Brady Skjei.

    • Mar 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Brady Skjei is not even close to Kevin Shattenkirk.

      • Mar 10, 2017 at 1:55 pm

        You’re right….5 v 5 gf/60 Skjei 3.29 Shatty 2.50. PP Shatty has slight edge. But, not a 7 million dollar edge.

        Do our forwards suddenly get better clearing the d zone because Shattenkirk is there?

        And what do you do with #27?

        Not worth the 7 million per year and a long term deal. I’d pass.

        • Mar 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm

          When comparing players on different teams, I’d say it’s best to use relative metrics. Outright goals/60 or other like measures can be more a product of team/system/situation than that one’s player’s overall net effect on the team.

        • Mar 10, 2017 at 3:43 pm

          Shattenkirk is better at limiting shots against, scoring chances against, and has a better RelxGF% than Skjei. And using paulrontys favorite x+/-, again Skjei is a -4.9, Shattenkirk is a +3.3.

          So, while I agree no athlete in any sport is worth anything north of a million dollars, that’s the going rate.

        • Mar 10, 2017 at 10:26 pm

          I just could not agree more! Then, I do not believe there is anyone on the planet worth more than 3 years max!

      • Mar 10, 2017 at 3:34 pm

        Shattenkirk is not even close to Skjei. …there, corrected it for you.

        • Mar 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm

          If you think Skjei is better than Shattenkirk….then Pluto is closer to the sun than you are to reality

          • Mar 10, 2017 at 4:05 pm

            He’s a much better VALUE. And his upside is a much better bet.

            Look at Yandle. Did he make Florida better? And they are stuck with him at 6.3 until he’s 36. His best years are behind him.

            Shatty’ best are also behind him.

            • Mar 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm

              #hottake. This is likely as good as Skjei is going to be. He’s projected as a 2nd pair D. Shattenkirk projects as a 1st pair D, now and till 33.

              As for Yandle, #hottake2. He’s performed in his role at same level of McDonagh at 5×5 and overall. Floridas best forwards have been hurt way more than ours. Not Keith Yandles fault the panthers have fielded mostly an AHL roster this year

              • Mar 10, 2017 at 5:17 pm

                So, Shattenkirk being used as a 4 by STL doesn’t matter?

                And what injuries for Florida besides Huberdeau?

                NYR had Zib out, Buch and Nash, plus, using 3 clowns on D.

                Bad teams follow Yandle around.

            • Mar 10, 2017 at 10:30 pm

              Once again I agree, give him 3 @ 7 per and the chance to play and win in the best city in the world. Take it or leave it! This league needs to be fixed, it’s broken!

              • Mar 11, 2017 at 8:12 am

                Zero chance the Rangers would offer that and even less chance he’d take it. The king rate is the going rate. And while he may very well take less to play in NY, any difference making player is going to command big bucks and significant term. This is an athlete’s chance to cash in and he’s not going to pass that up.

                Taking your philosophy then Joe, you’d be dooming the Rangers to a perpetual rebuild with no real chance of winning. Every team has some deals that are onerous and will look real bad on the back end. The key is to figure out who to commit to and not have too many.

                But no long term deals? Pipe dream.

              • Mar 11, 2017 at 3:54 pm

                Eddie3 What I was trying to say (imply) was that the league is broken and needs to be fixed. Clearly, nobody would take it. However, that’s why I say leave it, who’s to say you can’t win a cup without “onerous deals on the back end”? I think it can be done! Creativity and smarts is what it takes!

              • Mar 11, 2017 at 4:35 pm

                Because with the current system, by the time your (or someone else’s) best players hit their peak, you have to overpay to keep/sign them. In your scenario for example, once Miller, Hayes, Kreider reach their prime, you’d let them all walk. Result…a perpetual state of rebuild with virtually no chance to win itr all.

                Is there anything team you can think of that has Cup aspirations that doesn’t have at least one of those onerous deals that will look ugly a few years from now?

    • Mar 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Shattenkirk QBs the #1 PP. If he can play the entire 2 minutes, he QBs the #2 PP as well.

      • Mar 10, 2017 at 3:40 pm

        No one In The league plays the 2 at qb.

        The NYR have scored 40 more goals than St. Louis. (I’m discounting Wash)

        Shatty was a 4 with St. Louis. He wasn’t a 2.

        You guys think he’s worth 7? For 7-8 years?

        • Mar 10, 2017 at 5:06 pm

          no way. 6 for 5 max

  • Mar 10, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Didn’t have a chance to weigh in yesterday on Joe’s article. Brady has been good yes. But I disagree he belongs getting votes.

    Zach in Columbus has been far better than he has. Brady looks good because the rest our defenseman are so bad. He is improving with each passing game, but everyone’s arguement against our other defenseman is “they’re sheltered”. Skjei is very much sheltered still. Do I think he should be? Most of the time no. Against Werenski though, Werenski has been better

    Skjei has an Offensive Point Share of 2.5 and an overall point share of 5.6; while Werenski’s OPS is 3.7 and 7.7 respectively. Using paulronty’s favorite expected +/- Skjei is currently projecting to a -4.9 while Werenski is projecting to a +6.6.

    Skjei has been good I agree. However I don’t think he deserves anything more than a 5th place vote. There’s too many rookies playing better and more prominent roles out there

    • Mar 10, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Sjkei has been overall good, but there are warts,especially in the D-zone. Zach Werenski is a total marvel, that was a superior draft choice for sure. Can’t argue with your logic here & thanks for icluding the adjusted +/- 🙂

  • Mar 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    One things for sure, because the defense is playing bad, Skjei is coming along with a load more experience & this has to be speeding up his playing progress.

    I wonder how other past rangers would have done playing more minutes…

  • Mar 10, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Skjei has shown versatility to play up and down the lineup and on either side.
    Brady has played very well this season, more so on the offensive side of the ice. He is not a very good defensive Dman right now. He is getting better in understanding Dzone play at this level.
    Very excited about his future, wish he had a stay at home quality RD to play with (just like McD needs one…)

    • Mar 10, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      You are right, Skjei is not that great in the D-zone. However, he needs to get more strength this offseason & learn to use that big body on the boards. I think Beuke has been trying, even in Hartford, to release the monster inside. He’s a really nice kid, who needs to play tougher on the ice & play like a mean guy.

      • Mar 10, 2017 at 3:06 pm

        Needs more strength? He’s already build like a safety. Needs to apply it correctly.

        • Mar 10, 2017 at 5:57 pm

          Built like a linebacker,hits like a cornerback.

          • Mar 10, 2017 at 7:20 pm


  • Mar 10, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Hey Dave, did you include Fortunato’s misspells and grammar butchering as well?

    It’s very simple, while “common sense” says no because of the other rookies in the league, including some kid in Toronto, the fact of the matter is that Skjei has more 5 on 5 assists than some pretty good players in the NHL. That in itself is reason enough to get some sort of votes for the Calder.

  • Mar 10, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Highest scoring Ranger rookie D since del zotto?

    • Mar 10, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      Most rookie assists since Tony Amonte.

      • Mar 10, 2017 at 7:16 pm

        good one!

        I can count on one hand the number of guys I would even have to think twice about holding that record. and I did have to check that zubov only played half a year his rookie season.

  • Mar 11, 2017 at 7:46 am

    You can keep all your Shattenkirk and Yandle types, I wouldn’t pay them 2 million. What have those overrated bozos won? NOTHING. I’ll take Skjei’s potential any day over both. And yes I’d even prefer McIlrath.

    • Mar 11, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Dylan McIlrath

      26 games

      1 goal
      3 assists
      Minus 4

      And that’s his AHL line.

      Combined over three teams.

      Yep, I’m sure there must be many GMs that would take McIlrath over Shattenkirk, Yandle or Skjei. He’s not an NHL asset at the moment. Heck, he probably isn’t even looked at as a top AHL defenseman right now

      The kid, as I call him, is about to turn 25, so by NHL standards he soon wont even be a kid anymore. Crucial summer coming up if he wants to have any chance to be an even marginal NHL player, let alone a difference maker.

  • Mar 11, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Can’t wait to see the kid, Day. Just signed to entry level contract.

Comments are closed.