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Sheahan’s offensive touch emerges

Published Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 9:46 a.m. under 2011-12 RWC Reports
Riley Sheahan

Riley Sheahan (Credit: Notre Dame Athletic Department)

Riley Sheahan is finally showing the offensive touch the Detroit Red Wings saw in him on draft day.

The 19-year-old center with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish has soared to the top of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s scoring list early this season. He sits tied for fourth in the conference with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 14 games, putting him on a pace to easily surpass his career highs of six goals, set as a freshman, and 22 points, set as a sophomore.

The 6-foot-2, 212-pound junior told the South Bend Tribune earlier this month that he came into the season focused on “putting the puck in the net a little more.”

“It’s something I was trying to work on … to shoot more and get a few more offensive chances,” he said.

Sheahan, who the Red Wings drafted in the first round (21st overall) in 2010, is averaging more than three shots per game after hovering around the 2.5 mark the past two seasons. He had the first two-goal game of his career on Nov. 15 and has five multi-point outings overall.

It’s a welcome breakthrough for a player who struggled with no goals and just seven assists in his first 18 games last season. But he finished strong after just missing the cut for Canada’s world junior team, scoring five goals and adding 10 assists in his final 22 games. Over his past 36 games dating back to last December, Sheahan has 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points.

Throw in his size and the fact the former Ontario junior B scoring sensation has become a well-rounded player in Notre Dame’s system, and the Red Wings will take a long look at signing him after his junior season. It’s the organization’s standard approach with top college prospects, as Gustav Nyquist, Justin Abdelkader and Jimmy Howard all skipped their senior years to play pro.

It hasn’t hurt playing on one of the top teams in the country. Notre Dame is 10-3-3 and ranked second in Division I hockey by USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine. Linemates T.J. Tynan (23 points) and Anders Lee (19 points) are also at the top of the CCHA charts.

NOTES: Winger Tomas Tatar (Grand Rapids, AHL) has exploded with nine points in his past six games … Defenseman Mattias Backman (Linkoping, SEL) has scored his first goal in the Swedish Elite League. He’s averaging more than 15 minutes per game … Left-winger Dick Axelsson (MoDo, SEL) has returned from hernia surgery … Right-winger Teemu Pulkkinen (Jokerit, SM-Liiga) is in a bit of a slump, goalless in seven games with just six points in his past 15 … Forward Philippe Hudon has said he is planning to play in the QMJHL with Victoriaville, although it’s not official yet … Left-winger Marek Tvrdon (Vancouver, WHL) is 17th in WHL scoring, and because he is still considered a rookie, he’s tops among first-year players … Goalie Thomas McCollum (Grand Rapids, AHL) has regained his footing somewhat, posting respectable numbers in a call-up to the Griffins. He has a 3.08 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage in five starts … Goalie Petr Mrazek (Ottawa, OHL) suddenly finds his goals-against average above 3.00 after going 3.67 in November. Yet his team is first in the OHL’s Eastern Conference … Forwards Andrej Nestrasil and Trevor Parkes and defenceman Gleason Fournier have been assigned to the ECHL, where they’ll get much-needed ice time.

Following is this week’s statistical report.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEVEL LEAGUE GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Coetzee, Willie Grand Rapids PRO AHL 19 4 4 8 5 -5 48
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids PRO AHL 14 4 2 6 2 -3 15
Nyquist, Gustav Grand Rapids PRO AHL 20 6 16 22 6 +3 56
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids PRO AHL 20 5 10 15 6 0 70
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids PRO AHL 20 4 7 11 12 0 43
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids PRO AHL 14 2 0 2 8 -3 11
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids PRO AHL 11 1 0 1 41 -3 11
Ehrhardt, Travis Grand Rapids PRO AHL 3 0 0 0 9 -1 5
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids PRO AHL 20 2 2 4 11 -8 23
Pare, Francis Grand Rapids PRO AHL 20 2 6 8 4 -3 48
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids PRO AHL 14 0 1 1 0 0 22
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids PRO AHL 17 2 1 3 10 -4 18
Smith, Brendan Grand Rapids PRO AHL 14 1 7 8 26 +1 28
Piche, Sebastien Grand Rapids PRO AHL 8 0 1 1 7 -3 6
Pyett, Logan Grand Rapids PRO AHL 20 0 8 8 12 +3 52
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids PRO AHL 11 2 1 3 2 -1 17
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids PRO AHL 3 1 1 2 2 0 1
Fournier, Gleason Toledo PRO ECHL 11 1 6 7 0 -4 23
Nestrasil, Andrej Toledo PRO ECHL 1 0 0 0 0 -2 2
Ouellet, Xavier B.-Boisbriand JR QMJHL 25 6 9 15 35 -12 76
Macek, Brooks Calgary JR WHL 24 6 12 18 11 +7 N/A
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current JR WHL 28 3 11 14 39 -13 N/A
Tvrdon, Marek Vancouver JR WHL 27 14 19 33 16 +1 N/A
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie JR OHL 27 6 13 19 25 +12 N/A
Quine, Alan Peterborough JR OHL 26 10 18 28 2 0 N/A
Jurco, Tomas Saint John JR QMJHL 25 17 19 36 21 +24 100
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud State COL NCAA 16 1 8 9 2 +3 24
Nicastro, Max Boston U. COL NCAA 11 1 2 3 10 +2 16
Cayer, Julien Clarkson COL NCAA 13 5 2 7 8 -2 22
Marshall, Ben Minnesota COL NCAA 16 2 3 5 28 +9 13
Sheahan, Riley Notre Dame COL NCAA 14 4 11 15 12 +2 44
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit EUR FIN 27 8 19 17 4 -2 112
Almquist, Adam HV-71 EUR SEL 23 2 7 9 16 +12 N/A
Axelsson, Dick MoDo EUR SEL 12 3 3 6 35 -2 N/A
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas EUR SEL 26 6 11 17 10 -9 N/A
Backman, Mattias Linkoping EUR SEL 21 1 4 5 10 +4 N/A
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow EUR KHL 4 0 0 0 2 -3 2

GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Mrazek, Petr Ottawa OHL 23 13 6 4 0 3.10 .910
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 9 1 5 0 0 3.81 .867
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 5 2 3 0 0 3.08 .903
McCollum, Thomas Toledo ECHL 5 1 3 0 0 2.57 .914

ARTICLE TAGS: ,

4 Comments
  1. motowndm says:

    Was disappointed to hear both Sproul and Ouellet failed to make the try-out roster (Canada) for this years World Junior tournament. But quite sure Tvrdon and Jurco will get selected to represent Slovakia.

  2. teldar says:

    Got to say I really like the statistical roundup each week. The articles are great, particularly about the guys in juniors or college as it’s hard to get a whole lot of info on each of them, but tracking the stats each week gives an idea of how everyone has done, not just the featured prospect of the week.

  3. RW19 says:

    All of a sudden the Wings have some prospects that are skilled and big: Smith, Tverdon, Jurco and Sheahan. Nice to see Sheahan finally score. It was starting to look like he was another Joakin Andersson (lotsa heart, no hands).

  4. motowndm says:

    Teldar: go to http://www.chl.ca to check the game results of all prospects in Canadian junior. If so inclined you can listen to the radio feeds from some teams on this site.



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