Los Angeles, CA. The Carolina Hurricanes had the opportunity to draft either Brandon Gormley or Cam Fowler, two of the top rated defensemen in the draft, but decided to stick with a forward as the chose high scoring center Jeffrey Skinner of the Kitchener Rangers.
Skinner was one of the highest scorers in the OHL last season and exploded in the playoffs as he scored 20 goals in 20 games. The ISS reports that he has tremendous lower body strength and has the potential to be one of the premier scorers in this draft.
The center led the OHL in per game scoring average as he scored 50 goals and chipped in with 40 assists in 64 regular season games. The former nationally ranked figure skater said that he was surprised to be selected by the Canes, but is excited about the opportunity. He's going to show up to camp with the expectation to make the team and take it from there.
I spoke with Tony MacDonald after the first round was completed and asked him about the choice.
The team had Skinner as the highest on their board at the time they chose him. Higher than Gormley, higher than Fowler. They knew if he was there, they wanted to draft him. He's been a prolific scorer at every level.
I asked him what he thought was the biggest surprise of the first round. He said he was surprised the way Gormley and Fowler dropped as low as they did, but then with a smile he said, "maybe us picking Skinner at #7".
After the jump, check out one of Skinner's first interviews with the media as a Cane.