Jeffrey Skinner (born May 16, 1992) is a Canadian ice hockey player for the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL). Selected seventh overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Skinner was the youngest player in the NHL during the 2010–11 season.
Skinner was born to lawyers Andrew Skinner and Elisabeth Campin. He is the second-youngest of six siblings, with four sisters, Jennifer (a former Harvard Crimson forward), Andrea (a former Cornell Big Red forward and lawyer at Bay Street law firm Aird & Berlis), Erica (current Carleton Ravens defence) and Jillian. He has one brother, Benjamin, who was in the Kitchener Rangers system, but now plays for the Golden Hawks at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.
Skinner attended William Armstrong Public School and then Markham District High School. Involved in both ice hockey and figure skating growing up, he won a bronze medal in the juvenile division at the 2004 Canadian Junior National Figure Skating Championships. Soon after, he made the decision to focus solely on hockey. Skinner played his minor hockey with the Toronto Jr. Canadians and Toronto Young Nationals of the GTHL and the Markham Waxers of the OMHA. He grew up cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Skinner was drafted 20th overall in the 2008 OHL Draft by the Kitchener Rangers from the Toronto Young Nationals, where he played on the wing with future Boston Bruins centre Tyler Seguin. After leading the Rangers in goal scoring in his rookie season, Skinner participated in the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, scoring 6 goals for 6 points, while winning the gold medal with Team Canada. In his second OHL season, Skinner scored 50 goals and led all CHL draft-eligible forwards in goal scoring. He became the first Ranger in 23 years to reach the 50-goal milestone.
Despite leading the league in goals at the time, Central Scouting ranked Skinner as the 47th best North American skater during their midterm rankings, and only 34th during the final rankings. This contrasted ratings from other organizations such as ISS and TSN’s Bob McKenzie who had him much higher. During the 2010 NHL Draft, he was taken 7th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes.
During his first NHL training camp, he signed a three-year, entry level contract with the Hurricanes on September 21, 2010, worth $2.7 million. On October 7, Skinner made his NHL debut with the opening roster in the Hurricanes 4-3 win against the Minnesota Wild during the NHL Premiere Series in Helsinki, Finland. In sixteen minutes of ice time, he had two shots. The following day, Skinner recorded his first career NHL point with an assist on Tuomo Ruutu‘s goal. He also scored the game winning shootout goal to become the 3rd youngest player in NHL history to score a shootout goal. On October 20, Skinner scored his first NHL career goal against Jonathan Bernier of the Los Angeles Kings in his fifth game of the season.
Midway through the campaign, Skinner was named to the 2011 All-Star Game roster as an injury replacement for Sidney Crosby, making him the first member of the 2010 draft class to be named to the All-Star Game, and the first 18-year old NHL All-Star since Steve Yzerman. He was later named January 2011′s NHL Rookie of the Month.
At the NHL Awards on June 22, 2011 in Las Vegas Nevada , Skinner was awarded the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, beating out fellow rookies Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks and Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders.
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Achievements and awards
- Named to play in the (2011 All-Star Game), youngest All-Star selection ever in the four major North American sports (baseball, basketball, American football, ice hockey) (18 years, 259 days)
- Calder Trophy winner as best NHL rookie during the 2010-11 season.
- Named Sporting News Rookie of The Year
- Named The Hockey News Rookie of the Year