Magicians goalie Skinner makes NCAA commitment
April 3, 2020
The Minnesota Magicians of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce that goaltender Dysen Skinner has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Skinner, 21, is another great example of a Ladder of Development story that exists between the NAHL, NA3HL, and NAPHL. The 6’1/190 lbs. native of Billings, Montana native began his run up the Ladder of Development in the NAPHL with the Sioux Falls Jr. Stampede before quickly asserting himself as the Bulls’ go-to goaltender during his rookie season in 2018-19 in the NA3HL.
His first season with the Bulls ended with 18 wins, a 2.44 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage, plus all five of the Bulls’ postseason wins on the way to a Fraser Cup semifinal appearance.
The 2019-20 season saw just as rapid a start, with two more shutouts among his 10-2-2-0 record. With Samuel Vyletelka playing for his native Slovakia in the World Junior Championships in mid-December, Minnesota Magicians head coach/general manager A.J. Bucchino made the call to bring Skinner to the NAHL.
While in the NAHL, Skinner quickly impressed, making 31 saves for the win in his NAHL debut against the Springfield Jr. Blues on December 19. By the time Vyletelka returned, Skinner had landed the team’s top job, earning 12 of the Magicians’ last 13 wins. Only a loss to Springfield in his junior finale would trip him up, ending a string of five straight wins and 10 of 12 down the stretch. The final three wins landed him the league’s Midwest Division Star of the Week award earlier this month.
His final numbers - a 12-7-2-0 record, 2.86 goals-against average and .914 save percentage, were more than enough to get the attention of UW-River Falls head coach Steve Freeman, who coached Bucchino during his college career and brought him back as an assistant coach after a brief goaltending stint in the pros.
“There’s an opportunity at River Falls with a young team with high potential, and amazing facilities right on campus,” said Skinner. “I’m excited to be part of a winning culture.”
UW-River Falls, which is located 30 minutes from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, plays in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) and are 19-time WIAC Champions. The three-time NCAA National Champions play their home games out of the brand new 65-million dollar W.H. Hunt Arena, located directly on campus.