Brendan Smith said during the playoffs that he had been "really impressed" with Brady Skjei since joining the Rangers and that he is sometimes "in awe" of the plays that Skjei makes. (NYR)
Smith said that Skjei is "wiser" than his age and that he doesn't see the kind of mistakes that other rookie defensemen tend to make. (NYR)
Smith said that Skjei is "strong" at both ends of the ice and "that's what you need from a defenseman." (NYR)
During the playoffs, Skjei said that he wants to be a player who steps up in big moments and he feels that he has the skill set to do so. (NY Post)
He said that his skating ability and size allows for him to play a physical game and do things other players can't do. (NY Post)
In the 18 games where Smith and Skjei were teammates in the regular season, Skjei averaged 19:01 per game, had 2 goals, 7 assists, a minus 3 rating, 8 PIM and 36 shots on goal.
In the Rangers 12 playoff games, Skjei had 4 goals, 1 assist, 10 PIM, 19:15 per game and 36 shots on goal.
Adam Rotter: Skjei was certainly someone who impressed both in the regular season, after his slow training camp, and in the playoffs with his ability at both ends of the ice. He is definitely someone who deserves, and will get, more minutes next season as the Rangers look to improve their defense. Skjei played mostly on the left side this season but did see time on the right after there was talk of it last summer. Skjei's increase in ice time will either come at the expense of Marc Staal being moved out or moved to the third pair or by switching to the right side if the Rangers are unable to land a player that they feel can handle top minutes on either the first or second pair. There is no reason for Brady Skjei to be on the Rangers third defensive pair when things start back up in the fall.