Stuart Skinner just had an outer-worldly game for the Edmonton Oilers making 47 saves on 48 shots in a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. However, that does not mean they are handling his development correctly. Skinner currently has 5 games in his career, posting a 2.77 GAA and .922 SV%. It hasn't been pretty, but those stats prove he can be a NHL goaltender despite only being 23-years old. Obviously you'd want the GAA to be brought down a bit.
NHL Public Relations on Twitter: "Only three @EdmontonOilers rookie goaltenders have made more saves in a game than Stuart Skinner.#NHLStats: https://t.co/hsQIquNqTN pic.twitter.com/rvEt2Qv3Wa / Twitter"
Only three @EdmontonOilers rookie goaltenders have made more saves in a game than Stuart Skinner.#NHLStats: https://t.co/hsQIquNqTN pic.twitter.com/rvEt2Qv3Wa
My problem with the way the Oilers are handling Skinner is the fact he's come up on two extended stints for the Oilers due to injuries. Both times he has gone periods playing one game in 20+ days. If you can't trust the third goaltender in your organization to step into games when dealing with injuries. You need a different goaltender in that situation, it can't be a young kid. Stuart Skinner without a shadow of a doubt should be in Bakersfield right now starting 50+ games this season.
The last 10 Stanley Cup Champions have had homegrown goalies. Goalies that were developed within their own organization. It's a testament to how hard it is to find a championship caliber goaltender on the open market.
I have no problem with Stuart Skinner up here at 23 years old running the show, or at the very least being a consistent backup. However, if the Edmonton Oilers aren't going to commit to playing him more than once every 20 days. They are doing a disservice to both themselves and the player by not keeping him in the AHL.
It's completely unrealistic to expect Skinner to post a .979 every game and turn away 40+ shots, but if he's going to show competency, he should be getting more starts.
Plenty of rumors on the horizon regarding Edmonton trading for a goaltender. As to be honest, it's the only thing really keeping them back from being a true contender this season.
Will Stuart Skinner be the answer? Could he have a 2019 Jordan Binnington type of season for the Oilers? We are sure hoping so!