In the fall, while many parents are tearfully sending their 18-year-old children off to college, some hockey moms and dads are also bidding farewell. Except their kids aren't moving into a dorm room, they're finding their way onto an NHL roster.
"The leaving home kind of crept up on us. We didn't anticipate one way or another if he was going to make the team," said Andy Skinner, whose son Jeff won last year's Calder Trophy as an 18-year-old. "But it is an adjustment for the parents and the family when an 18-year-old leaves home unexpectedly like that."
Skinner was part of a stellar group of 18-year-old players who catapulted from their draft year right into the NHL spotlight. That group included Taylor Hall
, who led the Oilers in goals despite only playing 65 games, Tyler Seguin
, who won a Stanley Cup in Boston, and Cam Fowler
, who ranked fifth on the Ducks in average ice time.