Jeff Skinner is coming off of a fantastic season with the Carolina Hurricanes. The 21-year-old forward tallied a career-high 33 goals in 71 games in the 2013-2014 season. Those 33 goals ranked him 11th in the NHL in that category.
The big question for Jeff Skinner is if he can take that next step to be an elite scorer. Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, said in his press conference following the firing of Kirk Muller that he needs younger players, like Jeff Skinner, to make that next step as a player and as a leader.
After two 30+ goal seasons, Jeff Skinner seems poised to take that next step. Only three NHL players eclipsed the 40 goal mark in the 2013-2014 NHL regular season. Joe Pavelski (41 goals), Corey Perry (43 goals), and Alex Ovechkin (51 goals) were the only players to reach that number.
If Jeff Skinner wants to reach that exclusive 40+ goal club, he will need to be more consistent. Most great goal scorers score in bunches, and that’s what Jeff Skinner did during the 2013-2014 season. From Nov. 29 to Jan. 9, Jeff Skinner scored 18 goals and had 25 points in 19 games. The Carolina Hurricanes went 9-6-4 in those games.
Over half of his goals from the season came in a 19 games stretch, which leaves him with just 15 goals in the remaining 52 games. 15 goals in 52 games just isn’t goo enough if Jeff Skinner want to be the elite scorer that he can be.
If Jeff Skinner can be more consistent throughout the season and still get those extremely hot stretches, he will be able to hit 40 goals without a problem.
That being said, it will be tough for a young player like that to be that productive, but Jeff Skinner has the skill to do it.