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Hometown Oilers trade up for Skinner

The Edmonton Oilers moved up in the third round to take hometown goalie prospect Stuart Skinner

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

CHICAGO, IL - Hearing their name called at the NHL Draft is a dream come true for the young men who converged on the United Center this weekend. Now multiply that feeling by some large amount and you may understand the emotions of Stuart Skinner.

Video: RAW | Stuart Skinner

Not only did the goaltender hear his name called on Saturday in the third round of the 2017 NHL Draft, but it was his hometown Edmonton Oilers doing the calling.

"It was an incredible feeling," said Skinner. "The adrenaline I got just hearing them say 'Lethbridge Hurricanes,' I kind of had a feeling it could have been me."

Indeed it was, and the Oilers moved up four spots to get him - trading the 82nd and 126th-overall picks to slide up the board to 78 and take Skinner.

"It feels good for sure, just to be able to be in the position I'm in is unbelievable," said Skinner. "I can't really describe it in words, to be able to be drafted by your hometown. It's a great day for me and my family."

Born and raised in Edmonton, the netminder grew up a fan of the Oilers franchise. He remembers the 2006 run to the Stanley Cup Final and how the community came together to cheer on the team. He mentions fellow goalie Dwayne Roloson as a favourite of his.

He's always been interested in the Oilers, but he had no idea they were interested in him.

"I hadn't heard anything and didn't have any interviews, it just kind of happened."

Oilers Goaltending Coach Dustin Schwartz and Goaltending Development Coach Sylvain Rodrigue raised the level of the club's interest in Skinner when they saw him at Hockey Canada's World Junior Development Camp.

"We really like him, obviously," said Oilers Director of Player Personnel Bob Green. "Dustin and Sylvain saw him at the Hockey Canada Development Camp last week and really liked him there. We've liked him all year. He's played a lot, he's played three years in the WHL and has played a lot of games.

"He's big, he moves well, he's athletic and he works at his game. We just thought at that point, we thought he might go a little earlier, but you never know with goaltenders. We thought in the third round he was one of the guys we wanted to get."

Video: DRAFT | Day 2 Behind the Scenes

The team wanted to pull the trigger and make sure they'd lock up the goalie they feel has a lot of good things to work with, including size and athleticism.

"When it's getting that close it's tough," said Green. "You've had your heart broken before in those situations and we thought he was good. We really didn't think we'd have a shot at him so that helped. "

All the uncertainty of where Skinner would go ended when he heard his name called, and there isn't a better place he could have went than home.

"It's an absolute blessing that I get picked up by Edmonton," said Skinner. "It's an unbelievable feeling you can't really describe in words. I get to stay back home. It's a really great feeling."

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