8/7/17 | Alain Vigneault said in early April that Brady Skjei is the "new type" of defenseman in the NHL because of how he uses his skating both to carry the puck and to defend.
Vigneault added that he didn't consider Skjei to be a rookie, that he was playing big minutes and he "will be a real good player for us moving forward."
On breakup day, Vigneault said that Skjei played a "big role" and was considered to be one of the Rangers offensive defensemen.
Vigneault added, "I think he went through a real good first year and understanding of the game and net year he should be better and more effective and ready for a bigger role and bigger minutes."
Skjei said that the season had some ups and downs and that most of the strides he made this past season were more "mental" than physical.
He said that Ryan McDonagh gives him pointers on the bench and in practice and has also helped him with not getting too high or too low during the season.
Skjei said that he wants to focus on getting better in his own zone and that if he does that then more offense will come. (Newsday)
Brian Leetch said during the season that Skjei's skating ability allows him to get involved in the offense and that if he doesn't get involved with the offense than he likely won't play. (NHL.com)
Alain Vigneault said in March "we have said many times that there is a tremendous amount of skill there and he has to continue. The more he works on his game the more he understands it and the better the decisions he will make with the puck and that is what we need from Brady."
Adam Rotter: A lot was expected of Skjei last season after how he performed in the playoffs. Skjei did not have a good training camp or preseason but kicked things into gear and was really good for a lot of last season. The amount of offense he added was an unexpected perk and overall he became the Rangers second best defenseman despite still seeing a lot of time on the third pair. Skjei is arguably as important to the Rangers reconstructed defense as Kevin Shattenkirk is. Skjei will be relied on to play a bigger role and bigger minutes this season and he certainly looks like someone who is ready for that role.