Going into the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers were targetting adding another goaltender to their prospect pool, after another year of evaluating borderline NHL prospects Scott Stajcer and Jason Missiaen.
With their sixth round pick, the Rangers did just that, selecting 19 year old Kootenay Ice netminder, Mackenzie Skapski with the 170th pick in the draft. He was the 17th goalie taken in the draft, and the 5th Canadian born netminder.
The 6-2 186lb BC native completed his third season with the Ice, and his first as their starting goaltender. In 65 games – out of 72 regular season – he went 34-25-1 with a .910 save percentage, 2.78 goals against average and seven shutouts. They were easily the best statistics of his career, though he appeared in just 23 games in the prior two seasons as he backed up Buffalo prospect Nathan Lieuwen.
Skapski was draft eligible in 2012, but was passed over – not surprising given his light workload and modest stats. As a 19 year old, Skapski goes into this season once again looking to be the starter and will push for a chance to earn a contract.
Former Wolf Pack bench boss Ryan McGill who coached the likes of Johan Holmqvist, Jason Labarbera and Steve Valiquette is the head coach for the Ice, and no doubt Benoit Allaire will add some pointers as well.
Jess Rubenstein of Prospect Park had this to say of Skapski: Needs to work on his positioning more than anything else. I like him better than I do the other goalies that the Ranger have in the system because he didn’t come with any “warts”.
He also attended the Minnesota Wild prospect camp last season.