"I am ecstatic they picked me," Skjei told the media at the draft. "This is the best city and a team I followed. It's a dream come true."
The 6'3", 200-pound Lakeville, Minn., native spent the last two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. In two seasons, he combined for 28 points (5g-23a) in 92 games. He also helped the U.S. win the gold medal at the recent Under-18 World Championship and led the way defensively with a plus-10 rating.
Prior to joining the U.S. National Team Development Program, Skjei played for Lakeville North High School and helped lead his team to the state tournament in 2010.
"Brady is a tremendous skater for somebody his size," said Minnesota coach Don Lucia. "He has a great reach and has tremendous potential. With added strength he has a very high ceiling."
Skjei's coach with the U.S. National Team Development Program also spoke highly of the soon-to-be Minnesota freshman.
"His game has improved greatly, both offensively and defensively," U.S. National Team Development Program head coach Danton Cole told NHL.com. "He's a tremendous skater and a good example of a guy who understands the little nuances of playing defense. He's thrived in the program and is a physical specimen; he's big and strong and has made great strides in learning how to play the game. His angling is good and he has put himself in a really good position moving forward in his career."