Skinner’s resurgence under Don Granato was a joy to watch.
Our 2022 Buffalo Sabres player report cards kick off today with a look back at forward Jeff Skinner.
Total Season Stats: 80 GP | 33 G | 30 A | 63 PTS
Contract Status: Under contract through 2025-26, $9 million/year
It’s like day and night comparing the 2020-21 and 2021-22 versions of Jeff Skinner. He went from the lowest points of his career to quite literally the highest (or tying the highest). This is the Jeff Skinner we all know & love; this is the Jeff Skinner we were excited about when he first came to Buffalo several years ago.
It’s not hard to see where his resurgence came from. Not to point any fingers, but… points all fingers at Ralph Krueger. Skinner’s bounce-back since Krueger’s firing and Don Granato’s subsequent promotion has been outstanding. How he’s used in games, where he plays and those he plays with (Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, etc.) make a world of difference.
Who knew that when you actually let a good hockey player play and with other good players, that all of them will be better off? Huh.
Anyways. Skinner’s 33 goals this season are at the higher end of his production, and his 30 assists are second-most in his career. His 63 points ties his career high, which he’s met three times before. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he meets or exceeds all of these numbers next season, too.
It’s also easy to see how much more relaxed & carefree Skinner is off the ice — which also supports his on-ice production, too. It’s amazing what can happen when the overall environment improves. (Hey Siri, play ‘Party in the USA.’)
Skinner is also the Sabres’ nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
Earlier this year, Skinner helped raise over $100,000 for the Bald for Bucks campaign to support patients at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
It’s impossible not to like what Skinner did this season & be excited for what he could do next season. Is it October yet?
Season Grade: A-
What grade would you give Jeff Skinner?