Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 6/22/12

The New York Rangers have drafted defenseman Brady Skjei with the 28th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Skjei, age 18, is headed to the University of Minnesota to play hockey in the NCAA program next season. 

Here is the scouting report according to reelhockeyscouting.com:

Shoots left. Double threat offensive defenseman that is fast through his feet and the puck. Owns NHL size and moves exceptionally well with it.

Possesses a great deal of power, balance and speed in his stride. Transitionally mobile and fluid. Accelerates off his first step. Defensive footwork needs to be strengthened.

Sturdy and strong in front of his own net. Ties up sticks well and keeps position between opponent and net-minder. Unrefined and short circuits at times without the puck and can be sucked out of position. Needs to step up his defensive awareness and become more in sync with the play in his own zone. Could stand to be more assertive with his size.

Run and gun type rear-guard that can manufacture offense and keep the opposing defenders on their heels. Jumps on loose pucks and takes them off to the races with his ability to skate the puck up ice. Slick with the puck and drives in hard with strength and creativity. Holds great vision with the puck and can distribute it like a pro. Will jump into the play often. Shows extreme confidence atop the blue line and with his pinching execution. His shot is average at best and needs to be powered up.

Committed to University of Minnesota. His size, skating ability and offensive skill-set is above most within this year’s crop of NHL Draft hopefuls. He should hear his name called early.

* Also interesting on tonight's Draft broadcast by TSN/NHL Network was that it was confirmed the Rangers were in talks with the Pittsburgh Penguins in regard to center Jordan Staal, who would ultimately be dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes to join brother, Eric. This, to me anyway, signifies that GM Glen Sather is out there to make a splash in some way. Stay tuned over the next few weeks leading up to July 1.

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