The Carolina Hurricanes were massive buyers at the 2020 trade deadline and made moves to upgrade their defense group following the injuries of Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce. One of these moves was acquiring 25-year old Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei.
The Rangers were looking to shed salary as a result of the Chris Kreider extension (read our article on that here) and a deal was reached just minutes before the deadline to send 2012 1st overall pick Brady Skjei to Carolina in exchange for a 1st round pick. Carolina had a spare 1st rounder from their offseason deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, as they agreed to take on the hefty contract of Patrick Marleau for the pick. The Rangers will get whichever pick is lower between Carolina’s 1st or Toronto’s 1st in this deal for Skjei.
We have three seasons of data on Brady Skjei, and he has a -4.11 career AB score over that time period. He has never registered a positive individual AB season in his career, including an abysmal -7.48 score in 2017. In his 60 games with the Rangers, Skjei had an 18:5 penalty taken/drawn ratio. In 6 games with the Hurricanes, he has a much better 1:4 ratio. He also has a much better giveaway takeaway ratio in Carolina at 3:6 compared to his 52:30 ratio in New York. Both ratios appear to be better, and perhaps a change of scenery was best for Skjei’s career. Skjei is -8 on the season and makes $5.25 million for the next four years as a 25-year old defenseman. Under now-former coach David Quinn, he played almost forty seconds more than his previous career average of 20:01. In Carolina, he’s averaging north of 21 minutes per game under Coach Rod Brind’Amour. Dailyfaceoff.com states that Skjei is currently paired 2014 7th overall pick Haydn Fleury, who is still working on becoming the elite defenseman the Hurricanes want him to be.
The Hurricanes are currently in a very tight playoff race, as they currently have a 37-25-5 record and hold the 2nd wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. They have 79 points in 67 games and have three games in hand on the Columbus Blue Jackets, who currently hold the 1st wildcard spot. They have a 4-4-2 record in their last 10 games.