Rangers agree to terms with Hunter Skinner on entry level contract

The Rangers have agreed to terms with defenseman Hunter Skinner on an entry level contract.

Skinner, who would have been in the OHL this season, has been in the ECHL getting ice time on a loan. Now he will join the Hartford Wolf Pack for the remainder of the season.

Skinner was a class above the rest in the ECHL, which is obviously a good thing, but not necessarily something to judge him by. It looks like the OHL season isn’t going anywhere, so Skinner will get that next level of play with the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Initially an afterthought in the very strong 2019 Rangers draft, Skinner has shot up the prospect charts with solid play. The 6’2, 190 lb defenseman, was also selected to the 2021 World Juniors with Team USA. He only got in one game, but making the team is an indication of his development thus far.

The Hunter Skinner entry level contract is the next step in helping build solid AHL depth, as it has become clear the Rangers need some help there. The Pack need help on the blue line. Only Tarmo Reunanen is a viable prospect at the moment. Skinner is someone to keep an eye on.

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  • I recall watching Hunter Skinner in the Travis City Tournament and he looked good, playing the game with a tough physical edge. The Rangers need a guy like him.

    • He just needs to put on 10-15 lbs over his ELC to get a shot at a second contract. If it’s only 10, he’s a replacement level player.

      Then again, accurate measurements make a difference. EP has him at 6’3”, this piece has him an inch shorter. At 6’2” 190lbs he already is in the range of possibly being effective at a pro level, especially considering his age.

      Having guys like this that have a shot of slotting into 2nd-3rd pair makes it much easier to manage the cap as you high picks get into 2nd contracts.

  • The only reason our AHL team needs blueline depth is because many of our good prospects are playing overseas or still in college. We should begin the grooming process so that when we need 2 defensemen from our minors, they understand the NHL game.

  • Skinner will leapfrog Reunanen on the depth chart by Easter.

    So would Jones if he turned pro this season.

    • Reunanen looked good when he came up to play with us It would be great to see a bunch of these other defenseman play better than him that will make a team even that much better

      • If you think Reunanen was good for his thimble of coffee, then almost nobody knows how to evaluate D by eye test *or* stats. TV really makes it hard to critically evaluate D, but having seen him live over the past 3 seasons filled in gaps.

        He made 2 nice plays in 14 shifts, one of which was a gift of a setup by Panarin that anybody could’ve made. He had only 2 bad plays, but they were examples of how his skating and size make him a liability as a NHLer. The rest of his limited time on ice he treated the puck like a live grenade: get the puck away from him as quickly as possible and onto the stick of someone who knows what they’re doing.

        Between the serious lack of TOI in that game and his quick return to Hartford apparently isn’t enough to convince people that the tag of a poor man’s John Gilmour isn’t just accurate, but generous.

  • We have at least 5 maybe 6 NHL D prospects. Several project to top 4.

    It will be interesting (and challenging!) to see who we flip and who winds up a Ranger.

    • If Skinner had gone college path like he was supposed to, the timing with Trouba aging into a limited NTC would have been a lot better.

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