"If we come up with another guy like that, we'll be OK," Hurricanes director of amateur scouting Tony MacDonald told the team's website.
The quest to find a player in the 2014 NHL Draft who can make the same kind of impact as Skinner won't be as easy. MacDonald said his assessment of this year's draft crop has made the job for him and his scouts that much tougher.
"This year's draft class turns out to be a much deeper draft than we expected it to be," he said. "It's a more difficult process this time because it's tougher to reach a consensus. There are a lot of guys that are very close together [ranking-wise]. In years past you'd have several guys clearly at the top and they fell into place after that. Right now there are probably 20 players in that first round that we could give them consideration for our pick."
MacDonald said the scouting staff has put together the list of players he expects to be available when the Hurricanes' turn to pick comes.
"With our meetings, we're trying to determine who the top players are," he said. "We run our list right from one through probably 200 players. There's a lot of discussion where everyone on the staff has input into the players that are on the list and they have evaluated over the course of the season. We try to come to some kind of consensus so that at the end of the day, when the final list is done, we have an order we're comfortable with."
That order could change based on players selected or trades, but MacDonald and new general manager Ron Francis will be flexible no matter what happens.
"I think we're comfortable with where we are, but certainly if there was something that made sense in either direction, I would consider it, whether it's moving up or moving back," Francis told the team's website. "I'm open to discussions at this point."