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Edmonton Oilers ink Skinner to entry-level contract

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One day after hoisting the Ed Chynoweth Cup as a 2018 WHL Champion, Swift Current Broncos goaltender Stuart Skinner has another reason to celebrate.

Monday morning, the Edmonton Oilers announced they had signed the 6-foot-4 product of Edmonton, Alta. to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Originally selected by the Oilers in the third round (78th) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Skinner began his WHL career with the Lethbridge Hurricanes before a midseason trade brought him to Swift Current in January 2018.

From there, the affable netminder put together what has arguably been the greatest stretch of his time in the WHL. In 25 regular season games after his arrival in the Land of Living Skies, Skinner went 16-6-1-1 with a 2.68 goals-against average and .914 save percentage, along with two shutouts. Combined with his regular season numbers in Lethbridge, Skinner appeared in 56 contests, going 30-21-3-1 with a 3.07 GAA, .905 SV% and six shutouts.

He saved his best work for the 2018 WHL Playoffs.

In 26 post-season outings, the Oilers prospect backstopped the Broncos to 16 wins and a WHL Championship title. He logged a 2.20 GAA and an astounding .932 SV%, powered by a WHL record-tying six shutouts.

In all, Skinner tied or broke four WHL post-season records.

His 26 appearances rank as the most among goaltenders in any one WHL playoff, surpassing Tyler Plante of the Brandon Wheat Kings, who played in 24 games during the 2005 WHL Playoffs.

Skinner established a new WHL playoff record for minutes played by a goaltender in one playoff season, seeing 1,609 minutes of crease time. That was good enough to surpass Cam Ward, who previously played 1,503 minutes over 23 appearances with the Red Deer Rebels during the 2002 WHL Playoffs.

With 811 saves to his credit, Skinner also smashed the record for most saves made by a goaltender in one playoff season, surpassing Mac Carruth of the Portland Winterhawks, who turned aside 718 pucks through 22 games during the 2012 WHL Playoffs.

Finally, Skinner’s six shutouts match the six goose eggs collected by Dustin Slade, who achieved the mark over a mere 18 appearances with the Vancouver Giants during the 2006 WHL Playoffs.

Over the course of four years in the WHL, Skinner has appeared in 207 regular season games, going 104-72-9-6 with a 3.22 GAA, .908 SV% and 12 shutouts.

He has also played in 50 career WHL post-season games, which is good enough for fourth all-time in career playoff games played by a goaltender, trailing Mac Carruth (75 ­– Portland Winterhawks, 2010-13), Cam Ward (65 – Red Deer Rebels, 2001-04) and Mark Fitzpatrick (56 – Medicine Hat Tigers, 1984-88).

Over the course of his 50 playoff games, Skinner has maintained a record of 27-18-5, a 2.66 GAA, a .922 SV% and earned six shutouts.

Born November 1, 1998, Skinner was originally selected by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the first round (17th) of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

On January 9, 2018, he was dealt to the Broncos from the Hurricanes along with overage forward Giorgio Estephan and veteran forward Tanner Nagel in exchange for rookie forward Logan Barlage, overage goaltender Logan Flodell, forward Owen Blocker, defenceman Matthew Stanley as well as a first-round pick (2020), a conditional second-round pick (2021) and a third-round pick (2020).

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