RICHFIELD, Minn. – Dysen Skinner has set himself apart as a member of the North Iowa Bulls this season. As a goaltender, he’s the Bulls’ last line of defense, and more than a dependable one at that.
Minnesota Magicians head coach A.J. Bucchino knows a little something about goaltending, and Skinner clearly has the right stuff to be a Magician himself next season, signing a North American Hockey League tender with Minnesota late this past week.
The Billings, Montana native is the third member of this year’s Bulls team to sign a tender with an NAHL team. Heading out of the most recent weekend, Skinner had an 11-3-1-0 record, winning his final eight decisions of 2018. Prior to his time with the Bulls, he made an impression at the NAPHL level, as a member of the Sioux Falls Jr. Stampede’s 18-and-under squad in 2017-18.
Skinner’s tender agreement does not mean an automatic call-up, but his NAHL playing rights have been committed to the Magicians. He will start next season in Minnesota and will not be eligible for this spring’s NAHL Draft. Any NAHL appearances he makes during the remainder of this season will also be made in a Magicians uniform.
Bucchino’s team is the current frontrunner in the NAHL’s Midwest Division, with a 27-10-1-0 record and eight points clear of second-place Fairbanks and a game in hand on the Ice Dogs. Bucchino himself was an NCAA Division III All-American in net at Wisconsin-River Falls and spent four years in the pros following a brief junior career with the Des Moines Buccaneers.
More than 30 North Iowa Bulls players have reached the NAHL since the team’s inaugural season in 2011-12. Three of those players are currently active in NCAA Division I hockey, with several others playing for professional teams. More than 50 NA3HL alumni suited up in the NAHL a year ago, with that number expected to rise this season.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Dysen Skinner on taking this important next step in his junior hockey career, and wish him the best in his future with the Minnesota Magicians.