Jeff Skinner's apparently going to try out for the Yankees (Courtesy: Renee Kalicicki)

Feature Friday: #53 Jeff Skinner

What’s been said about Carolina Hurricanes’ sensational sophomore Jeff Skinner that hasn’t been said already? Calder Trophy winner, 63-point scorer during his rookie year, January 2011’s Rookie of the Month from the NHL, third youngest player in NHL history to score a shootout goal, Sporting News rookie of the year, The Hockey News rookie of the year, youngest ever athlete to be named an All-Star out of the four major North American sports, first 18-year old NHL All-Star since some guy named Steve Yzerman, 20-goal scorer in the OHL playoffs for the Kitchner Rangers, a gold medalist for team Canada in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and then that whole comparison to the Canadian pop singer whose name will not be mentioned anywhere in this post. I promise. Not bad for a 19-year old kid, huh?

Central Scouting, a department within the NHL that ranks professional scouts throughout the season, ranked Skinner as the 47th best North American skater during their midterm rankings, and only 34th during the final rankings. Then again, what do they know? For the record, several other sources (i.e. the International Scouting Services or ISS) had him ranked much higher. Either way, the Carolina Hurricanes drafted him 7th overall in the 2010 NHL entry draft and the rest, as they say, is history. It didn’t take long for Jeff Skinner to make an impact for the Hurricanes, as he registered his first NHL point on October 8th, 2010, in the second game of the 2010 season against the Minnesota Wild on an assist from a goal from Tuomo Ruutu. He also scored the game-winning shootout goal in that game. Just a few days later, Skinner scored his first NHL goal on October 20th, 2010 against the Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Bernier:

Nine days later against the New York Rangers, Skinner scores his first “highlight reel” goal against one of the best goaltenders in the league, Henrik Lundqvist…and it was a beauty:

It has been said that there is no ceiling for Skinner … he’s only 19 years old and will only get bigger, stronger and faster. Caniacs will have the pleasure of watching #53 on the ice for several years to come and will continue to witness beautiful goals like these:

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