Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: G Stuart Skinner

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Thatcher Demko is one of the Vancouver Canucks’ top prospects. Yet, they could look at adding another goaltender at the 2017 NHL Draft.

While working on a mock draft with the team over at Future Considerations, I noticed that, in the mid-to-late rounds of this draft, there might be few skaters available that I would love for the Vancouver Canucks.

It obviously all depends on how the draft actually shakes out, but in our scenario, it seemed like every skater available at 95th overall eliminated himself with some major flaw. Or, with some that I liked, I just felt it was way too early to pick them.

As a result, I ended up looking at the goaltenders that might be available in that range. First up: Stuart Skinner of the WHL Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Embed from Getty Images

Name: Stuart Skinner

Position: Goaltender

Catches: Left

Birthdate: 1998-11-01

Height, weight: 6’5”, 205 lbs

Team, league: Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL

Stats (from 






#88 by Future Considerations
#63 by
#3 by ISS Hockey (Goalies)
#5 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Goalies) 

Risk, Reward: 3/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Starting goalie

Draft Range: Third to fifth round

Scouting report

"A large and agile keeper with refined skills…uses his lower half extremely well, expanding his legs in the butterfly to seal off the whole lower half of the net…his size doesn’t hamper his speed as he remains agile and in control in his movements…is very quick post to post and has great leg strength to pop up and drop down quickly multiple times on reactionary circumstances…is great at squaring up shots and is constantly searching to get the best sightline at the puck….adjusts his angles according to the shooters position and is able to swallow up numerous shots with his large torso without rebound…controls rebounds well, limiting pucks in the slot with a combination of well angled leg work and the use of his blocker…his glove hand is quick and he keeps it held in a good position…compete to never give up is exceptional…very impressive how polished he is at this stage of his career…has the potential to become a high end stopper at the pro level.  (Future Considerations, November 2016)"


Stuart Skinner was in the running to be a first-round pick this year, as he entered the 2016-17 campaign with two full seasons as a WHL starter under his belt. After improving from a .909 save to .920 in his second year, a strong draft season was expected. It didn’t quite go as planned, but that doesn’t mean he disappointed.

What stands out the most about Skinner is his size, allowing him to cover the net extremely well. At 6-foot-4 (officially 6-foot-3.5), he leaves opponents little to shoot at once he drops into the butterfly. Once he is down, Skinner uses the reach of his legs extremely well to quickly cover the opposite side of the net when there is a cross-slot set-up pass or a wrap-around attempt.

Furthermore, Skinner does an excellent job of tracking the puck. While you often see goaltenders struggling to keep an eye on the puck as soon as there is traffic in front of them, Skinner seldom looks bothered by what ever is going on in his crease. He manages to stay calm and, again thanks to his size, keep an eye on the puck at all times.

When he has enough time, Skinner displays perfect positioning and angling of the shooter. That holds true for various game situations, whether a shooter is driving to the net from the outside, taking a point shot or racing at him on a breakaway. Another thing that helps him in these situations is his quick glove along with short reaction times.


As mentioned above, the expectations were high for Skinner going into the biggest year of his junior career. Unfortunately, his goals-against average went up by .53 goals per 60 minutes, and his save percentage dropped from .920 to .905. While those numbers surely don’t tell the whole story, scouts would have liked to see an improvement in the save department.

More from Draft

As to actual weaknesses in his game, the first one that comes to mind is consistency. In some games, Skinner still looked like he could be the No. 1 goaltender of this draft. The next game, however, he looked like he shouldn’t even be picked in the mid-rounds. In those games, Skinner even struggled to put his usual strengths on display, struggling to utilise his size or to track the puck through traffic.

Another thing you might not notice as a casual watcher, but certainly do notice if you watch Skinner or the Hurricanes regularly, is his tendency to go down and scramble around the crease. If things get tight around him, Skinner often just lies down and basically hopes his size is enough to save the day. Spoiler alert: it often is not. Skinner must work on his rebound control to make sure he doesn’t end up in situations like this too often, and when he does, he simply needs to try to stay calm.

Lastly, Skinner is willing to leave his net and play the puck, hoping to help his defense in starting a quick counter attack. Unfortunately, he doesn’t always succeed. Skinner often struggles to stop the puck behind the net when it is rimmed around the boards, and his passing accuracy (at least the consistency thereof) needs improvement.

Final Thoughts

Skinner is still a promising prospect, despite his weaknesses and slightly disappointing numbers. But, he will need some time to develop and adjust to the pro game. If he increases his agility and consistency, however, he could end up being a major steal.

Now back to the Canucks. Why would they care? What’s wrong with Demko? Shouldn’t they want to avoid another Corey Schneider vs. Roberto Luongo vs. Eddie Lack scenario?

Well, no.

Demko is one of the most promising goalie prospects in the world, and the Canucks can be extremely happy to have him. He had a fairly slow start into his first professional season, but finished extremely strong as the AHL Utica Comets’ starter. If everything goes right, he will be the Canucks’ starter soon enough.

Yet, adding another promising goaltender never hurts. You never know how good Demko will become, or in what crazy scenario he could leave the club sooner than expected. The Canucks currently have Jacob Markstrom and Richard Bachman signed for next season, and personally, I would much rather have a Luongo-Schneider problem again.

Next: All 2017 NHL Draft Profiles

If the Canucks end up sitting at their draft table on Day 2, discussing their pick at 95th overall, but aren’t fans of any of the skaters available, they might as well call Stuart Skinner’s name.