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Skinner drawing 'a lot of interest' for trade from Hurricanes: report

GM says 'lots of teams would love to have' forward @NHLdotcom

Jeff Skinner is drawing "a lot of interest" for a possible trade, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell told Sportsnet on Wednesday.

Skinner, a 26-year-old forward, will enter the final year of a six-year, $34.35 million contract (average annual value $5.725 million) he signed Aug. 8, 2012. He can become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

"Jeff Skinner has been with this franchise, he's a 30-goal scorer, proven 30-goal scorer," Waddell said during an interview on "Hockey Central at Noon." "We don't score a lot of goals. Saying that we did, you know it's no secret we put his name out there and we've gotten a lot of interest. … When you're trading that type of player, you have to be careful because if you just want to move a player along, certainly there's lots of teams that would love to have that player.

"But he's a big asset for us, and we've got to make sure that we get some kind of assets that we feel are going to help us either today or in the future for a guy like Jeff."

Skinner tied his NHL career high with 63 points (37 goals, 26 assists) in 79 games in 2016-17, then had 49 points (24 goals, 25 assists) in 82 games this season.

The No. 7 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Skinner has scored at least 31 goals three times in his eight NHL seasons, including in 2010-11, when he had 63 points (31 goals, 32 assists) and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year.

The Hurricanes scored 225 goals this season, which ranked 23rd in the NHL. They were 36-35-11, 14 points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.  

Carolina holds the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, which begins with the first round Friday (7:30 p.m, ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS) and continues with rounds 2-7 on Saturday (11 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS) at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The Hurricanes are expected to select forward Andrei Svechnikov of Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League with that pick.

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