Hello hockey fans! We here at Blue Line Station are happy to begin coverage of Team USA in the 2014 World Junior Championship (and some special treatment of New York Rangers prospect Brady Skjei).
We start at game three of the WJC for team USA and they’re taking on Germany. We come out of the first period to see Team USA up 2-0 on Germany with one power play goal. On the first goal an assist comes from Rangers prospect Brady Skjei! (I’ll get to him a little later). In the second period team USA really let loose scoring FOUR power play goals to make the lead 6-0. The third period was no different as team USA came out and scored two goals to make it 8-0, one of those on the power play. Team USA scored 6 times on the power play in today’s game and finished 53-15 in shots on goal advantage.
Now, lets focus on Brady Skjei who is team USA’s number one defenseman and has been playing like it all tournament so far. Don Lucia, team USA’s head coach is definitely aware of this fact, giving Skjei plenty of ice time, penalty kill time, and power play time. In the beginning of today’s game USA took two penalties and were two men down and Brady Skjei was the best penalty killer. He was in the shooting lanes, he was in the passing lanes, it seemed as though he was everywhere at once doing whatever it took to shut down the German power play. Skjei plays a very shut down defenseman type of game, and looks very similar to current Ranger Ryan McDonagh. We’ve heard that comparison made on the NHL network and you can see it if you watch Skjei for even a moment. If his play continues this way I do not see why Skjei would not easily turn into a top two defensmen for the Rangers.