Skinner scored a goal and an assist Saturday, helping his team earn a 3-0 win over Arizona. This was a much-needed performance from Skinner, who had yet to adapt to his new surroundings in Western New York. He's got the potential for big numbers, and this game should help him build some confidence moving forward and get himself back toward the levels he showed in Carolina.
Skinner scored two goals (one on the power play) in Friday's 5-4 preseason win over the Islanders. His tallies came 90 seconds apart in the second period, giving the Sabres a 5-2 cushion that they would end up needing. Skinner was wildly inconsistent during his years in Carolina -- he scored between 18 and 37 goals in each of the last five seasons, with comparable swings in his point totals -- but seeing a regular shift alongside Jack Eichel should help the 26-year-old maintain numbers towards the upper end of his volatile range.
Skinner scored his first goal since being traded to the Sabres by the Hurricanes in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs. The goal came off passes from Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo. That's a potent trio if it remains intact once the season starts. Skinner's fantasy value could be at its highest ever in Buffalo. Push him up your draft list a few spots.
Skinner is projected for a top-line assignment flanking Jack Eichel to open the season, according to John Vogl of The Athletic Buffalo. Acquired from the Hurricanes on Aug. 2, Skinner is also expected to join forces with Sam Reinhart to serve as the elder statesman of a young but potentially lethal first line in Buffalo. While Skinner is only 26 years old, he already has eight years of NHL experience. The skilled sniper has recorded 204 goals and 175 assists over 579 career contests but hasn't been involved in playoff hockey since averaging a goal per game with OHL Kitchener as part of the 2009-10 campaign. While Skinner only averaged 16:42 of ice time last season, he could approach the 19-minute mark if he manages to stay healthy and exhibits solid chemistry with Eichel and Reinhart.
The Hurricanes traded Skinner to the Sabres on Thursday in exchange for Cliff Pu, a 2019 second-round pick, a 2020 third-round pick and a 2020 sixth-round pick. The Hurricanes drew plenty of interest for the 26-year-old winger, who enters 2018-19 in the final year of his six-year contract, but it was ultimately Buffalo who landed the prize. The Sabres add Skinner to a relatively young core group of forwards, perhaps positioning themselves to contend for a playoff spot for the first time since 2010-11. Skinner can generally be counted on to play most of the season, totaling at least 71 appearances -- excluding the lockout campaign in 2012-13 -- in six of his seven 82-game campaigns, but his minus-27 rating from last season isn't pretty. Some of Skinner's rating struggles can be attributed to playing for a middling Carolina club, so a change of scenery to a more productive team in Buffalo should fix that. Coming off a campaign in which he posted his fewest points (49) since 2014-15, he should find a spot among the Sabres' top two forward trios while he'll improve a Sabres power-play unit that converted on just 19.1 percent of its chances last season.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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