4/2/18 | On Skjei, Vigneault said today, "he is getting more ice time but with any young player, second year and trying to establish himself in the league, trying to build his identity, there is no doubt that we believe a tremendous amount of skill set, real strong skater but is working on his overall game and these extra minutes time will be good for his development. Like any young player it's about becoming a pro and what it takes to bring that consistency night in and night out and that is what Brady and a lot of our younger players are working on now."
3/29/18 |Through 77 games this season, Brady Skjei has 3 goals, 20 assists, a minus 21 rating, 117 hits, 111 blocked shots, 26 takeaways and 56 giveaways.
Skjei is averaging 20:56 this season, up from the 17:28 he averaged last season when he also had 39 points in 80 games and finished 10th in the Calder voting.
Alain Vigneault said on 2/3 that he thinks Skjei can play better than he has both offensively and defensively.
He said that both the team and Skjei expected more this season and that they are doing a lot of video work and showing him where he can improve in his game.
Vigneault added, "he has a tremendous amount of upside and there is a learning curve taking place with his game. (NYR)
On 2/13, Vigneault said that getting put into key moments and situations will be big for Skjei in his development.
Vigneault said on 3/12, "you see his skating ability, that is a smooth skater that can get up in the play and beat the forecheck. It's his second year, not only is he trying to prove he can be a good player in the league but a top-four, top-two defenseman."
He added that Skjei is jumping at the opportunity he has for more ice time and said, "I think there is still another level to go for him. I believe that his skill set should permit him to reach another level, he has been good, but I think there is still room for improvement."
When asked if there is more for Skjei offensively, Vigneault said "I think there is more at both ends. This year we are using him to kill, I think he can get better there getting into lanes and taking stick opportunities away with better stick positioning. I do believe that he can be better with the puck, there is the ability for him to take this another notch and we will see if he can do it."
Skjei, 23, is an RFA after this season and currently has a cap hit of $925,000.
Adam Rotter: It's been a tough year for all of the Rangers defensemen and while Skjei may not have taken the step forward that was expected after last season, I think he is the least of the Rangers worries. He is getting similar zone starts to last season (58.8% in the offensive zone last year to 57% this year) but he isn't producing at the same level he did last year. Part of that is that the Rangers aren't as good as they were last year and that Kevin Shattenkirk, the player he has played the most with at 5 on 5, usually has the puck when they were on the ice. Skjei, with his skating ability, has the chance to be a big part of the Rangers future and it will be interesting to see how the Rangers approach his contract this summer. They can go bridge like with other guys in the past or maybe look to pay a little more now but lock him up for a few years.