March 5, 2020
by Ryan Hill
Ethan Skinner was one of the greatest players to ever don an Elmira Sugar Kings jersey, and that’s not an opinion. His hockey resume is certainly impressive and even though he has moved on from Elmira, a place Skinner once called home, he will never forget the time he spent with the Sugar Kings and neither will the fans who watched him.
Skinner was a two time team MVP, team rookie of the year, two time fan favourite and led the Sugar Kings in scoring in three of his four years with the organization.
In the 2016-17 season, Skinner led the entire Midwestern Conference with 80 points as well as being named to the GOJHL first all-star team. He received the leagues sportsmanship award and led Elmira to a Sutherland Cup championship. Ethan Skinner is most notably the Elmira Sugar Kings all-time leading scorer in the regular season and playoffs.
Although all those awards and accolades are great, one award he received in his final season was the Leroy Jamieson Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to one team. If nothing else, that award shows the loyalty Skinner had to the Sugar Kings for four years and dedication he devoted everyday during his time with the organization.
“When I was 16 years old I played major midget and didn’t really know anything about what I was going to do the next year,” says Skinner when first hearing about the Sugar Kings.
“Elmira was the first junior team to reach out to me. I came down for a visit and watched a game and basically fell in love with it. I basically knew from day one that it was the place I wanted to be.”
Although Skinner was only 5’ 7” and 170 pounds entering his rookie season, and not much bigger throughout his career, his mindset enabled him to succeed regardless of his size.
“I’ve never really felt like I’m as small as I am, I’ve always been one of the smaller players so it’s kind of all I’ve known. I think it’s important to just stick to your strengths and not go to far out of your comfort zone so that’s what I tried to do”
Whatever Skinner did obviously worked for him as he collected honours and awards every year. Although that is great, learning about the organization and representing the Elmira Sugar Kings not only as a player but also captain, is one of his biggest takeaways from the overall experience.
“I think when you get to Elmira you know how exceptional it is, the history of the team and everything that it means to be a Sugar King is indescribable. So I think the main message was just to show up everyday and give it your all, and it wasn’t too often you would have to say that out loud. Everybody knew what was expected of us and there is a high bar that’s set, so we just do our best for the town and the Sugar King name.”