**Photo credit: Edmonton Oilers/NHL**
Lethbridge, AB – The National Hockey League Entry Draft was completed on Saturday in Chicago, Illinois and one member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes heard his name called as goaltender Stuart Skinner was selected in the third round, 78th overall by his hometown Edmonton Oilers.
Skinner, 18, recently completed his third full season in the Western Hockey League with the Hurricanes appearing in a career-high 60 regular season contests while posting a record of 34-18-3-2 with a 3.26 goals against average (GAA) and a .905 save percentage (SV%) with two shutouts. Skinner also appeared in all 20 post-season games earning a 3.09 GAA and a .916 SV% helping the Hurricanes to the Eastern Conference Championship Series.
Skinner, who was the first WHL goaltender taken in the 2017 NHL Draft, becomes just the fourth goaltender in Hurricanes franchise history to be drafted into the NHL joining Logan Koopmans (2012, DET), David Trofimenkoff (1993, NYR) and Jamie McLennan (1991, NYI). He is the second highest drafted of the four ‘Canes goaltenders selected in the NHL Entry Draft sitting behind McLennan who was a third round selection, 48th overall, in 1991 by the New York Islanders.
“What a blessing. Watching the Edmonton Oilers as a young guy, there are no words to describe it, it’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Skinner to 630 CHED in Edmonton after being selected. “I was pretty anxious up there waiting to see what team was going to take me and when I head Edmonton say Lethbridge Hurricanes I got butterflies in my stomach and it was an adrenaline I’ve never felt before.”
The 6’4”, 205-pound puck-stopper from Edmonton played his minor hockey at the South Side Athletic Club before being drafted 17th overall by the Hurricanes in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Skinner is the all-time leader in Hurricanes franchise games played (151) and saves (4,462) setting both of those records in 2016-2017. In his 151 career regular season games, he has posted a 74-51-6-5 record with a 3.28 GAA and a .909 SV% with six shutouts.
Skinner has been invited to take part in the Hockey Canada Summer Showcase as one of four goaltenders vying for a spot on Canada’s national team for the 2018 World Junior Championship Tournament held in Buffalo, NY starting on December 26th.
In total, 33 WHL players were selected in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.