Although this year many NYR fans (and rightfully so some nights) have nothing positive to say about our defense, I want to talk about a huge positive that not many people have discussed. That positive is how much of a stud Brady skjei, or “Shady” as I like to call him has been for the NYR on defense.
Many nights you don’t remember this kid is still a rookie. Skjei does make mistakes don’t get me wrong, but it’s the amount of beautiful plays he makes under pressure as a rookie that is very underrated to me. In my mind, this year Skjei has been the brightest spot on defense. Not to discredit McDonagh’s play, as he will be setting his career high in assists this season, sitting on 31 at the moment, but this play is now expected from Mac.
Skjei looked very shaky in the preseason, however since then he has been very solid. It seems like more nights then not Skjei will quietly pick up a 2 assist game, and although others may not notice the assists, I very much do. At this point in the season Skjei has 2 goals, and 27 assists. Those 29 points puts Skjei at 10th for all rookies and 2nd for rookie defenseman, behind only Zack Werenski (who is also having a breakout 1st full season for the CJB). Skjei is also holding on to a very impressive +14 plus/minus which puts him at second in the league for all rookies.
– screenshot above taken from the website NHL.com.
Last but not least whatsoever, let’s not forget about his 27 assists, that ranks 4th in the league for all rookies. My point for throwing all these stats at you? Skjei needs to be recognized and praised for how well he has played this season. He very well might develop to be our best Defenseman in the future, if you are frowning at that statement then just think about this. McDonagh’s season high in assists before this season was 29, Skjei will surely pass that and might even overtake Mac’s 31, in his rookie season! Skjei has surprised me this year, as he is quickly becoming one of my favorite blue shirts. I think he is only going to get better and better as he continues to become comfortable in the league. It’s time to start giving credit were credit is due, this kid is becoming a force to be reckon with.
Ps. Lets get that nickname Shady circulating, haha
Author: @JamesRubeck via Twitter