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Jeff Skinner arrives at 18!

Jeff Skinner arrives at 18!

Sean Mitton, Canadian Expat Network

What were you doing when you were 18? For NHL rookie sensation Jeff Skinner in his 18th year, he has earned a spot in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes and is now preparing for his first All Star Game.

As part of the 2011 All Star festivities, Skinner met with fans at the sports bar Backyard Bistro for "Canes Corner", a live hour long interview. The place was packed as the Raleigh crowd has really taken to the Markham, Ontario native. It was such a spectacle, that some joked it was "Skinnerpalooza".

Skinner spoke to the audience about the support of his teammates and his strong family upbringing. Quite a ride so far, for the youngest player ever to play in an NHL All Star game.

Interviewer Mike Maniscalco of 99.9 the Fan, had a surprise interview guest caller for Skinner. Calling from Markham was Mayor Frank Scarpitti who praised Skinner for his performance, humbleness and spoke of how proud he was of the young man. Ironically, the City of Markham has had a Sister City relationship with Cary, NC for several years.

Carolina fans can look forward to a long and prosperous career from this 7th round draft pick. Skinner's youth could be best summed up by the response to Maniscalco's question on what was the most challenging part of his NHL transition so far. "The thought of not having to go to school in September," Skinner responded.

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