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Skinner Reaches Stardom

After returning from injury, Jeff Skinner acquires his first career hat trick and continues to light up the scoreboard.

Skinner Celebrates after scoring his first career hat trick
Skinner Celebrates after scoring his first career hat trick
Bruce Bennett

In just 209 career games he is already being considered one of the leagues top players. On December 9, Skinner was named the NHL's first star of the week with five goals and two assists. It was clear when Jeff Skinner stepped onto the ice for the 2011 All-Star game at only 18 years of age that he was going to develop into another face of the franchise. Skinner was also awarded the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year during the 2010-2011 season.

Skinner, now 21 even though he still doesn’t look it, has been on quite a roll as of late. On December 9, the Ontario native was awarded the NHL’s first star of the week for the first time in his young career. Despite missing the first 11 games due to injury, Skinner has bounced back with incredible tenacity as he has recorded nine points in the last six games. Skinner currently has 20 points on the season.

Jeff Skinner Hat Trick (via NHL)

Just shy of a hat trick on December 3's 4-1 victory against the Washington Capitals, Skinner obtained his first career hat trick last Thursday December 5 in a 5-2 triumph over the Nashville Predators. "It’s nice to get it," Skinner told the News and Observer. "The puck was bouncing a lot and it was kind of a weird game. There wasn’t much flow. But everyone chipped in."

Skinner stayed persistent and carried his momentum into each game. Although he wasn’t able to successfully net any points in the games against San Jose and Vancouver, he found a couple noteworthy opportunities.

"He's a goal scorer when he shoots the puck," Kirk Muller said. "He can score when he gets those opportunities, so he's working for it."

To no surprise Skinner lit up the scoreboard again against the Edmonton Oilers with an assist and the comeback goal that sent the game into overtime.

Last night's contest Skinner managed the only goal for the Hurricanes.  Skinner given the Hurricanes' first penalty shot opportunity of the season but was unable to give the convert and give them the go-ahead goal. "Looking back, I would have done something different," Skinner told the News and Observer.  "I tried to open him up but he didn't really bite on my fake.  I probably shouldn't have forced it in there."

December has been somewhat kind to the Hurricanes so far as they have won three out of their last six games and managing a point out of five of them.