June 17, 2024

The top players on the Edmonton Oilers are still those on the team; they’ve just changed.

Sure, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl might not be on pace to establish career-highs like they did a year ago on the way to finishing No. 1 and 2 overall in points, but there still is no one better to represent the club in the NHL’s showcase event.

Stuart Skinner was voted to make the journey to Sunrise, Fla., for last year’s all-star celebrations on the way to posting a 29-14-5 record with a .914 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average in his rookie NHL season — one that saw him become a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy.

This weekend, Skinner has been left off the invitation list for the all-star events in Toronto despite boasting a 23-9-1 record to sit tied for the third-most wins by a goalie in the league, along with a .910 save percentage and 2.44 goals-against average.

While there certainly are other more-deserving goalies with better numbers at this point, none have been hotter that Skinner heading into the break, considering his perfect nine-for-nine in appearances to go with a .953 save percentage and 1.33 goals-against average which saw him named to the NHL’s monthly honour roll for January.

He has been as big a difference-maker as any member of the Oilers roster throughout their incredible 24-3 run that has turned them from pretender to contender as they currently sit third in the Pacific Division, having climbed all the way out of 30th-place overall while suffering the embarrassment of an early season coaching dismissal.

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