Colorado Avalanche: Let’s Discuss Mr. Jack Skilles Midseason Grade


Colorado Avalanche RW, Jack Skille, is having a great year with the Avalanche because he plays his role well, so let’s hand him his midseason report card.

When Jack Skille signed a pro-tryout (PTO) contract with the Colorado Avalanche, I didn’t know anything about him. So, I quickly gathered some information, and to be honest I was a bit skeptical.

Nonetheless, I had respect for his PTO because that’s no guaranteed thing, just ask Curtis Glencross. In fact, Jack Skille is probably the reason why Glencross didn’t get a contract with the Avalanche, either way he’s still not playing in the NHL.

Moving on…

The Set Up!

Jack Skille is the man for this Colorado Avalanche team, I literally have nothing bad to say about his play. He could certainly bring it more often, but he’s very akin to John Mitchell and plays hard every night.

He possesses surprising speed, above average stick-handling, and a mean wrist-shot. Almost Every goal he’s scored this season — six total — has been a rocket wrister glove side, witness:

That’s an absolute ripper, and it’s not the only one, but more on that later. How could you not like this signing? He provides depth minutes, scoring ability, and a big body. He has 10 points on the season as well.

There will be no worst of Jack Skille in this article like there was for Matt Duchene, because I’ve yet to see it from him.

Jack Skille at His Best

Mr. Skille-t frying up vulcanized biscuits ready for a fast flight to twine has been playing well all season, and he’s at his best when he’s skating with speed:

That’s his most beautiful goal of the season. He starts right before the blue-line in an essentially stationary position, and then just skates right around the Columbus defensemen and scorches a shot off the top iron and in.

He needs to skate to score because when he skates hard he possesses the speed to beat almost any defensemen in this league. His speed and his shot are his greatest attributes, but he also has a refined defensive game.

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Patrick Roy trusts his 4th line, and it shows in each of their +/- ratings. Mikhail Grigorenko is a +9, Cody McLeod is a +9, and Skille is a +4. Of course, each has played up in the lineup throughout the season, but when playing together they put forth very simple and productive shifts.

He was the best player on the ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, as he registered 2 goals on 3 shots in only eight minutes of ice time. He now has four of his six goals in the last five games he’s played.

Midseason Grade

I’m going all out on Skill-elite. He gets an A+ for my midseason grade. He’s particularly jumped on the reigns as of late, and has provided a wealth of energy and grit on the 4th line all season long.

He plays his role perfectly, and can notch some necessary markers at key moments in the game. He has scored the first goal for the Avalanche three times this season. Don’t forget he’s only scored 6 goals all season.

Just look at this play by Skille:

That’s just an all around great performance by Mr. Skilles. First, he works hard in the neutral zone — after Tyson Barrie makes an errant pass — to ensure that the Avalanche keep possession.

Next, he speeds into the offensive zone on a great pass from Cody McLeod and rips another patented Jack Skille wrister over the Edmonton goaltender’s glove.

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With his consistent play all year, and his timely goals, plus his 4 goals in the last 5 games, Jack Skille easily deserves the A+ on his midseason report card.

New Year’s Resolution

He needs to keep skating hard because that’s what gives him the space to fire off that canon of a shot he possesses. Also, I’d like to see him shoot more often because he really can score and the Avalanche definitely need more depth scoring.

Other than those two things it’s rather difficult to think of what else Jack Skille could do to provide assistance to the Colorado Avalanche. He’s been fantastic all year, and I am real pleased with his play as I’m sure Patrick Roy is as well.

Okay, now to what was supposed to be one of the fun parts. No one submitted poems; in fact, one of our more regular readers — like a grizzled man to his favorite bar top — even told me “not to hold [my] breath”. Well, I suppose I will not be holding my breath because I’ll be using it for poetry instead.

The Avalanche are wonderful, 

Even though last game was rather dull,

Stay with the team my rabid fans,

Because winning will come again,

Hopefully Varly regains his hands,

And the Avalanche will play to win, 

Enjoy the holidays, and gorge the belly,

Soon once more the Avs will be on the Telly (vision).

— Ross Sellers

Next: Colorado Avalanche Running a Trap of Their Own

I want rhymes tomorrow guys, I understand you may be busy with the holidays, but my poetry is atrocious and I want some input from my dedicated readers.

Tomorrow, Mikhail Grigorenko is primed for the dissection, and it will be a more gruesome writing charade because I want so much more from Grigs. So come join us tomorrow for another dig, and we’ll venture back into it.

What do you think Avs fans? What grade would you have given Jack Skille? What other New Year’s hockey resolutions might he consider? Let us know in the comments!