Jack "Crash" Skille. Source: Sun Sentinel

Final Grade: Jack "Crash" Skille.

Each day we are going to give you the Final Grade on the Florida Panthers roster. The members here known as The Rat Pack will rotate daily until we have completed our assessment of bodies talent. Today’s Final Grade Report is on Jack Skille.  Referred to by me as “Crash”.

How Acquired:  In a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks along with Hugh Jessiman, and David Pacan, for Michael Frolik and Alexander Salak on February 9th 2011.

Position:  Right Wing.

2010-2011 Statistics:  8 G’s, 11 A’s, 19 Pts. -9, 29 PIM.

2011-2012 Contract Situation:  Restriced Free Agent.  2010-2011 Salary: $600,000.

Review:  Jack Skille came out of the same draft class as Sidney Crosby in 2005.  Drafted seventh overall by the Chicago Blackhawks, he was expected after a year or two of seasoning, to provide some grit, some goals, and some physicality.  He spent some time playing college hockey for the University of Wisconsin before playing the the Hawks AHL affiliates, Norfolk and Rockford.  After spending three full seasons in the AHL with moderate success, the Hawks finally felt that Skille might be able to succeed at the NHL level in 2010-2011 as he made the roster out of training camp.

Playing with players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marion Hossa, and Patrick Sharp, Skille was given opportunities to play with the top six numerous times.  He finally settled into a grinding role playing either on the third line or the fourth line for Chicago.  While he seemed to work hard at times, he also seemed to be snake bitten as well.  His skating needs work…still.  One of the things that attracted Crash to the Panthers and general  manager Dale Tallon, who drafted Skille, was his physicality.  Willing to bang bodies, and provide some grit was something that the Panthers have been missing, and Tallon was willing to give up Michael Frolik for that.

Skille played 13 games for Florida, missing 12 games with a high ankle sprain, he scored one goal, and had one assist.  He was also a -12.  Skille had some time to play on the top line in hopes that he could be the physical winger that many teams employ to create space for the other players.  Even though Crash was a former number one pick, I think it’s safe to say that he’s not a top line player at this time.  The third line could be the best place for him, and some occasional second line duty wouldn’t be out of the question.  If he can score consistently in the very high teens, or just over 20, then he’ll be a pretty decent player.  As a Hawk fan as well, I’ve seen a lot of Crash and his development.  He’s a good kid and you can’t help but want him to succeed…. but he was either overrated or has just had some bad luck.

Final Grade: D+.  A very tough grade I know.  But we gave up a lot for him.  We expect a lot from him.  It would be easy for me to give him a C, but, as I’ve been trying to tell all of you Panther fans, it’s time to stop accepting mediocrity.  I think he’ll be offered a contract and a chance to make the club.  His future is up to him though.  He can be part of the solution here if he wants.  I hope he does.

Thanks for reading.   We welcome your comments and opinions.

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Tags: Chicago Blackhawks Crash Dale Tallon Florida Panthers Jack Skille Jonathan Toews Patrick Kane

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