Brady Skjei 2021-22 By The Numbers
NHL Seasons: 7
Scoring: 9 goals, 30 assists, 39 points in 82 games
Playoff scoring: 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points in 14 games
Advanced statistics: 55.08 CF%, 54.11 SCF%, 52.51 xGF%, 59.02 GF%
Average TOI: 18:32 ES, 0:07 PP, 2:28 SH
Contract status: Two years remaining, $5.25 million AAV
When the Hurricanes traded a first-round pick for Brady Skjei at the 2020 trade deadline, it raised some eyebrows. A first rounder for a defenseman who’d been struggling with four years left on a cap hit north of $5 million?
And, as with many puck-moving defensemen the Canes have acquired, it took Skjei some time to adjust. But he got better and better as his Hurricanes career continued and he settled in and got comfortable. And, in 2021-22, he had easily his best season as a Hurricane, and probably the best season of his NHL career since his rookie season with the Rangers in 2016-17.
He teamed up with Brett Pesce to form a rock-solid second defensive pairing for the Hurricanes. Those two are a natural fit for each other, with Skjei’s offensive instincts and ability to skate the puck up the ice, jump into the play in the offensive zone and make plays perfectly complemented by Pesce’s shutdown game.
Skjei’s no slouch defensively either, showing an ability to break up plays with his stick and skate the puck out of trouble in the defensive zone. He did still have some defensive breakdowns this season, but overall it was a much-improved year for him in that regard.
Brady Skjei with some great defense on Ovechkin pic.twitter.com/Grcl3ECIoO— Alex Ohári ⚫️ (@FutureCanes) March 28, 2022
Those two were a tremendously reliable defensive pairing for the Hurricanes in 2021-22, and were one of the better two-way defensive pairings in the league.
Skjei also played over two minutes per game on a Hurricanes penalty kill that finished as the best in the league in the regular season.
It was a breakout year offensively for Skjei too, as that aforementioned offensive ability paid dividends in the form of a career-high nine goals and career-high-tying 39 points.
Most of that came in the second half of the season, as, starting with a two-goal game against Columbus on New Year’s Day, Skjei posted eight goals, 24 assists and 32 points in the 2022 portion of the regular season.
Skjei set career bests pretty much across the board with his advanced stats as well, establishing himself as an extremely reliable piece of the Hurricanes’ top four alongside Pesce.
It’s worth noting he struggled on both sides of the puck in the postseason, but he wasn’t exactly alone in that regard, particularly on the road.
It’s now clear why the Hurricanes wanted to go get Skjei: at his best, he’s reliable, two-way, top-four defenseman capable of skating the puck up the ice, making plays in the offensive zone and breaking them up in his own zone.
And he was at his best for most of 2021-22. The Hurricanes will again face some turmoil on their blue line this summer as they must decide whether or not to re-sign Tony DeAngelo, and, if they don’t, who pairs with Jaccob Slavin on opening night next year.
But, thanks in large part to Skjei’s breakout 2021-22 and chemistry with Pesce, they can go into next year feeling good about their second pairing.
How would you grade Brady Skjei’s 2021-22 season?
This poll is closed
A - Outstanding Performance
B - Above Average Performance
C - Average Performance
D - Below Average Performance
F - Significantly Below Average Performance