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Muller believes Skinner can be a 40-goal scorer

Carolina Hurricanes v Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 01: Jeff Skinner #53 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 1, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Justin K. Aller

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner has been a secret force for them this season. While the ‘Canes won’t be going to the playoffs, Skinner leads the team with 31 goals -- the first time he’s broken 30 since his rookie season.

After staying mostly healthy this season, the 21-year-old showed what he’s capable of and coach Kirk Muller believes he’s capable of scoring 40 someday as Chip Alexander of the News & Observer shares.

“He’s had a few stretches where he didn’t have production and I think because he’s young that affects guys who score goals,” Muller said. “When you’re not scoring, you evaluate your game that way, and I think through maturity you learn that when you don’t score you work to keep the other things in your game. You just keep level-headed.

“When he does that and gets a little more consistent, he has the capability of scoring 40.”

When Skinner has been healthy, he’s been dynamic. He had a sophomore slump in his second season on top of dealing with concussion problems that held him to just 20 goals, but two seasons later now he’s back to being the player we saw in his first season. If he can be a 40-goal guy (he scored 50 in junior hockey), he’ll capture the hearts of Carolina fans all over again.

Follow @JoeYerdonPHT