Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers should treat Brady Skjei the same way that they did Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal, when their entry-level contracts expired, and sign him to a long-term deal. (NY Post)
Staal, in his first three seasons, played 244 of 246 games, had 13 goals, 39 assists, a plus 6 rating, 21:02 per game, 5,133 minutes played overall, 491 hits, 234 blocked shots, 119 takeaways and 111 giveaways.
He signed a five-year deal with the Rangers, out of entry level, that had a cap hit of $3.975 million. (Cap Friendly)
Staal is currently in year four of a six-year contract that has a cap hit of $5.7 million.
McDonagh played 169 games in his first three seasons, though started his rookie year in Hartford for half the year and then played in 47 of 48 games in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season.
In that stretch he had 12 goals, 48 assists, a plus 54 rating, 23:13 per game, 3,923 minutes played overall, 243 hits, 329 blocked shots, 91 takeaways and 90 hits.
McDonagh signed a six-year deal that has a cap hit of $4.7 million. That deal expires after this season and then he begins a seven-year deal with a cap hit of $6.75 million. (Cap Friendly)
Skjei has played in 169 games in his career so far, has 9 goals, 55 assists, a minus 15 rating, 19:12 per game, 3,425 minutes overall, 285 hits, 199 blocks, 48 takeaways and 116 giveaways.
Brooks writes that Skjei is three-years away from being a free-agent and that a contract in the area of six-years and between $4.75 million and $5 million per season "seems about right." (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: The McDonagh and Skjei comparisons at this point in their careers are quite similar. Both spent three-years in college, both spent, Skjei nearly the whole year, in Hartford in their first pro season and while different factors contribute to the difference in numbers (usage, defense partners, where the team was), they are still somewhat close. McDonagh played more in the defensive zone than Skjei, in the same time period, but overall the idea of going long-term, instead of a bridge, makes sense with Skjei. While he had some very good moments under Alain Vigneault, Skjei is one of the players expected to flourish and take a big step under David Quinn. He's likely to be their top-pair left defender, probably with Kevin Shattenkirk, and be a big factor for the organization moving forward. The Rangers will hope that paying a higher cap hit for the next year or two will end up turning into a bargain by the back half of the deal and that Skjei will be one of the core players as they aim to get back into being a contending team