With his trade to Florida on Wednesday, the Jack Skille Era in Chicago has officially ended.
But did it ever start?
Between 1991 and 2005, the Blackhawks had five picks in the top 10 of the Draft: Mark Bell (8, 1998), Mikhail Yakubov (10, 2000), Tuomo Ruutu (9, 2001), Cam Barker (3, 2004) and Skille (7, 2005). The pressure was immediately on Skille, who the organization always felt he would come into his own.
The General Manager that felt so strongly about him that he picked him over Anze Kopitar, Dale Tallon, will now continue his belief in the 23-year-old forward with the Panthers.
After seeing NHL action in three seasons before making the regular rotation this year, Skille leaves Chicago with 79 total NHL games in five-plus seasons with the organization. He scored only 12 goals and added just 13 assists in those 79 games, and finishes his Chicago career minus-two.
Many analysts pointed to Skille’s inflated cap number from being selected seventh overall as the reason he was never able to stick in Chicago, but his struggles this season point to an inability to finish; he leaves with seven goals on 121 shots this season.
Good bye, Skille. Maybe someday we’ll be able to you together with Corey Patterson, Joe Borchard, Curtis Enis and Eddy Curry at the Chicago Draft Bust Hall of Fame.