2009-10: Brady Skjei scored 11 goals with 19 assists in 30 games as a tenth grader for Lakeville North (MN) High School. He scored a goal and had two assists in a 5-0 win over Lakeville South in the Sectional 1AA final and had North’s only goal in a 6-1 loss to eventual AA runner-up Minnetonka. Skjei represented the USA in the 2010 U17 Four Nations Cup and had 2 goals with 3 assists.
2010-11: Skjei played in the US National Team Development Program and represented the USA at the 2011 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He was a co-captain for the U17 NDTP team and skated in all 55 games; scoring 5 goals with 14 assists and 24 penalty minutes. In six games at the WHC he scored 1 goal with 3 assists as the USA finished second. He committed to playing college hockey at the University of Minnesota in 2012-13.
2011-12: Skjei skated for the NDTP U18 team in his second year in Ann Arbor and played for Team USA in the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. He scored 4 goals with 19 assists and had 36 penalty minutes in 60 games. Skjei had 1 assist and 4 penalty minutes and was a team-leading plus-10 in six games at the U18 WJC as USA won its fourth straight gold medal. Skjei was ranked 19th amongst North American Skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Skjei played in 38 games for the University of Minnesota as a freshman — primarily skating alongside junior Nate Schmidt (Washington). He scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was +11 with 14 penalty minutes. The Gophers finished tied for first with St. Cloud State in the WCHA but lost to Colorado College in a WCHA semifinal game and lost to eventual national champion Yale 3-2 in overtime in the NCAA West Regional.
2013-14: Skjei skated in 40 of 41 games for the University of Minnesota in his sophomore season and played for the USA U20 team in the 2015 World Juniors. He scored 6 goals with 8 assists and was +15 with 30 penalty minutes with the Gophers. Minnesota finished first in the newly-formed Big Ten hockey conference and advanced to the Frozen Four championship game. After an upset loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, Minnesota defeated Robert Morris and St. Cloud State to capture the NCAA West Regional and then defeated North Dakota, 2-1, with a game-winning short-handed goal in the game’s final second. Union defeated Minnesota, 7-4, in the championship game. Skjei had 1 assist and was +5 with no penalties in five games for the USA at the WJC. The USA finished fifth, falling 5-3 to Russia in the quarterfinals.
2014-15: Skjei signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Rangers in April following his junior season at the University of Michigan, making his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack. He was +2 with no points nor penalties in eight regular season games for Hartford. The Wolfpack finished first in the Northeast Division and reached the Eastern Conference finals. Skjei scored his first professional goal and was -3 with 2 assists and 16 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games. He scored 1 goal with 9 assists and was +7 with 32 penalty minutes in 33 games with the Gophers in his final season of college hockey. Minnesota finished first in the Big Ten and captured the league’s only NCAA tournament berth, defeating Michigan, 4-2, in the conference championship game. Minnesota fell to in-state rival Minnesota-Duluth, 4-1, in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals.
Skjei is a two-way defenseman whose game is stronger on the defensive side than it is on offense. He plays a sound game in his own end of the ice, although he does not make use of his big frame. Skjei is a very good skater for a player of his size, but it isn't a skill that he relies on up to this point in his career. Skjei definitely has some outstanding traits, but he is not yet the complete package. At this stage, he appears to be a lower pairing defender when he reaches his full potential.
Skjei will attend his first NHL training camp with the Rangers after joining AHL affiliate Hartford last spring following his junior season at the University of Minnesota. A talented skating defensemen with some offensive instincts and toughness to his game, Skjei will likely open the 2015-16 season in Hartford but could work his way into the Rangers' lineup before the end of the season.