The Vancouver Canucks signed right-winger Jack Skille to a PTO contract on Monday. The former first-round pick will be joining his fifth NHL organization.
Skille was selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks out of Madison, Wisconsin, just to see him head to campus at Madison to play for the Badgers. In his freshman campaign, he would lead Wisconsin to the Frozen Four, but would miss most of his sophomore season due to an injury.
Unlike in other professional sports, the glamour of being an early selection in the draft doesn’t force organizations to give a player innumerable chances to prove oneself. The Blackhawks attempted to ease Skille along, playing him in just 30 games in his first three seasons, but while Skille thrived in the AHL, there didn’t seem to be room for him in the NHL.
After finally playing in 49 games for Chicago in 2010-2011, they traded him to the Florida Panthers. He would finish the season there and then play in 46 games the following season before heading out to Norway during the lockout.
Following his return, he would sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After two middling seasons there, Skille played last year with the Colorado Avalanche and finally saw extended ice time. He would play in 74 games for Colorado, scoring a career-high eight goals while recording 14 points in all. Even last year, he was still on a two-way contract. Things won’t be any easier for the 29-year-old right-winger heading into this season, as he will have to start as a PTO player for the Canucks.