Welcome to another WHL Best of the 2010s feature where we profile the best WHL players from the 2009-10 season all the way to the 2019-20 season. Players are judged based on what they did in each division. This means if a player spent time in multiple divisions, their placement will be judged based on what they did separately while in each division. Don’t forget to vote on our Twitter page, @WHLonA51 to help determine which player will be crowned the best WHL player of the 2010s. We hope you enjoy.
A Lethbridge Hurricanes legend, Stuart Skinner left his mark on the WHL, winning 104 of the 207 games he played in. He sits 16th in all-time WHL wins and is in the top 50 with 12 shutouts.
After being drafted 17th overall in the 2013 Bantam Draft, Skinner got a chance to play four games in the 2013-14 season. He would go 0-3 with a 5.17 goals-against average (GAA) and a .866% save percentage (SV%). Not really the start he was hoping for. He would make it up through the next season playing 43 games and recording a record of 13-20-5 with a shutout, a GAA of 3.69 and a .909 SV%. It was a good rookie season and showed he was ready to take on the WHL.
In his second full season, Skinner continued his progression with a 27-10-1 record in 44 games. He also recorded three shutouts, a 2.73 GAA and an SV% of .920. For his efforts, he was selected to Canada’s U18 team, winning two of the three games he played. His season would come to an end as Lethbridge fell in the first round. This season would set up his massive 2016-17, which may go down as the best in franchise history.
Year three rolled around, and Skinner continued to show why he was one of the top goalies in the league. In 60 games, he recorded a 34-18-5 record in 60 games with a .905 SV% and a 3.26 GAA. He would also add on two shutouts that season. In the playoffs, he shined, going 10-7-3 with a .916 SV% and a 3.09 GAA, helping Lethbridge make it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. It was a strong season that led to him being drafted by the Oilers in the third round of the NHL Draft.
Skinner’s last season was split between the Hurricanes and Swift Current Broncos. In total, he had a record of 30-21-4 with six shutouts. The Broncos were a strong team that would dominate after his arrival. In the playoffs, he went 16-8-2 with a .932 SV% and a GAA of 2.20, helping the Broncos win the WHL Championship. His career would come to an end later in the Memorial Cup after the Broncos were unable to win a game.
Skinner was dominant throughout his entire career, which is rare for a goaltender. He was given the starting job early and ran with his opportunity. He was not only one of the best goalies of the 2010s, but also one of the best overall players of the decade.