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Riley Sheahan
Position: Center
Shoots: Left
Vitals: 6’2” / 215 lbs.
Birthdate: December 7, 1991
Hometown: St. Catharines, Ontario
Acquired: Detroit’s first choice (21st overall) in the 2010 draft
CSS Ranking: 22nd North American skater (2010)
Contract: 2014 via
RWC Says: Two-Way Forward


  • 2011-12 CCHA Top Defensive Forward Award nominee
  • 2013-14 The Hockey News Future Watch (NHL’s 66th-best prospect)

  • Played Ontario junior B, leading St. Catharines in scoring for second straight year (40-27-46-73).
  • Drafted in the fourth round (76th overall) by Erie in OHL draft, but committed to Notre Dame.
  • Stepped in as a freshman at Notre Dame at age 17 and was one of youngest players in NCAA.
  • Scored just six goals but finished with 17 points in 37 games, tied for team lead among freshmen.
  • Impressed defensively, even playing on the blue line for a few games when injuries hit.
  • Arrested and charged with public intoxication and minor alcohol consumption in April.
  • Saw his Central Scouting mid-term ranking of No. 5 slide to No. 22 at season’s end.
  • Ranked as a consensus first-rounder (13th by ISS, 19th by THN, 28th RLR, 21st TSN).
  • Went 21st overall to the Red Wings in the 2010 NHL draft in June.
  • Returned to Notre Dame for sophomore campaign but struggled offensively (40-5-17-22).
  • Brutal start: Went without a goal while recording just seven assists through opening 18 games.
  • Produced much better in second half of season (22-5-10-15).
  • Produced five points in five games to help Notre Dame make it to the Frozen Four.
  • Survived first cut for Canada’s silver-medal-winning team but not the second cut.
  • Despite offensive struggles, received strong reviews from Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson.
  • Returned to Notre Dame for junior NCAA campaign and finished fourth in team scoring (37-9-16-25).
  • Set career highs in goals and points.
  • Started season averaging a point-per-game (20-7-14-21) but finished in horrible slump (17-2-2-4).
  • Also had even plus-minus (one of just four on team) and was second on team with 118 shots.
  • Signed amateur tryout deal in March to play in AHL with Grand Rapids (7-1-1-2, minus-2, six shots).
  • Signed a three-year entry-level contract with Red Wings in early April.
  • Made NHL debut on April 7 against Chicago, earning six minutes of ice time and taking two penalties.
  • Served as a Black Ace (spare who doesn’t play) for Red Wings’ brief playoff run.
  • Joined Grand Rapids for his AHL rookie season.
  • Charged for driving with blood-alcohol content of .17 or higher on Oct. 29.
  • Pleaded guilty in December to operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .17 or higher.
  • Told he was “trying to be a good person off the ice” after October arrest.
  • Started season on impressive roll despite off-ice trouble (50-15-17-32, plus-13).
  • Play tailed off toward end of season (22-1-3-4, minus-8 from March 2 on).
  • Ended up seventh in team scoring overall (72-16-20-36, 115 shots, plus-5).
  • Earned one-game call-up to Detroit in April, finishing with one shot in seven minutes.
  • Regained his footing in AHL post-season (24-3-13-16, 46 shots, plus-7) en route to Calder Cup.
  • Appeared in five NHL pre-season games (5-0-0-0, even, five shots, 13:18 ATOI).
  • Returned to Grand Rapids before opening day for his second AHL season.
  • Played big role for Grand Rapids through mid-December (23-6-8-14).
  • Recalled by Detroit for a four-game stint starting Dec. 17 (4-0-2-2, plus-2).
  • Played just eight more AHL games over remainder of season, mostly during Olympic break.
  • Finished AHL campaign with 18 points in 31 games (31-8-10-18, minus-2, 51 shots).
  • Spent most of second half with Red Wings centering line with Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar.
  • Finished ninth on Red Wings and T24th among NHL rookies in scoring (42-9-15-24).
  • Totals pro-rated over 82 games: 17 goals, 29 assists, 46 points.
  • Also had plus-8, 59 shots, 14:26 ATOI and won 49 percent of 512 faceoffs.
  • Struggled in playoffs in first-round loss to Boston (5-0-0-0, minus-1, nine shots, 13:59 ATOI).
  • Joined Grand Rapids midway through AHL first round after Detroit’s post-season elimination.
  • Scored just once in eight games (8-1-4-5, minus-5, 21 shots).

“We think he could be a point-producer for us, for sure. He’s got a great feel of when to go into holes in the offensive zone below the tops of the circles. He finds places to go and get the puck. He has the ability to really beat guys down low with his size and he’s a really strong kid. He can score and set up plays and he’s pretty solid all-around offensively.” — Red Wings scout Mark Leach (June 2010) … “He’s so mature for a kid his age … He’s equally good in all three zones and goes to the front of the net. He’s very conscious in the defensive zone and down behind the net in the defensive corner — he makes certain his team isn’t outnumbered. In the neutral zone, he makes all kinds of things happen but will get back and turn a transition if needed.” — NHL Central Scouting scout Jack Barzee (2010) … “I don’t like to make comparisons with young players. It’s not really fair to them. But he does remind me of Johan Franzen. He’s got a big, thick body. He’s been a big scorer. That’s what we project him to be.” — Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill (June 2010, … “The physical skills are there. He’s a strong kid with a great hockey body and a great hockey mind and he’s a very intelligent player. The thing for him is confidence and consistency.” — Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson (February 2012) … “He’s got a real big strong base, real strong on his skates, real strong on the puck, a real good mind for the game and is a real good defensive player … His strength on his skates and his strength on his stick also gives him an extra second to take time with the puck and make good offensive plays and he’s shown an ability to do that. How prolific a point producer he’ll be will be determined in time. But he has very good offensive skills to go along with an outstanding defensive set. To me, he has a great, great opportunity to play in the NHL.” — Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill (January 2013) … “He’s going to be a player for us, but he’s got to get quicker and he’s got to have more pace to his game.” — Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock (April 2013, … “He’s really grasped the role of being a shut-down, checking center. He takes a lot of pride in the faceoff circle and on the penalty kill. All those little things are so valuable at the next level. It’s not all about putting up numbers and playing on the power play.” — Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright (NHL Network’s Hockey Prospect Radio, November 2013) … “He looks good defensively, he looks good offensively. He looks like a good player, and he can skate.” — Babcock (December 2013, Detroit Free Press) … “He’s made plays for us and he’s allowed (his linemates) to play and not worry about the defensive side as much.” — Babcock

Went to college with a reputation for being a highly-skilled offensive player … Showed he could play in any situation and thrive … Described in The Hockey News by one scout as the “most complete player in the 2010 draft” … Mature two-way game already … Outstanding hockey sense in all three zones … Solid size and strength … Good stick skills and soft hands … Capable of beating defenders 1-on-1 … Has a knack for making plays in tight spaces … Boasts a quick release and a hard, accurate shot … Drives through traffic and uses his impressive size to protect the puck … Slightly more of a playmaker than a scorer … Terrific penalty killer who sharply anticipates plays and knows how to use his stick defensively … On-ice maturity is ahead of the curve for players his age.

Struggles with confidence and inconsistency, enduring numerous scoring slumps through his career … Gets numerous scoring opportunities but doesn’t bury enough of them … Simply put, he needs to produce more … His numbers have always been underwhelming in college and at the AHL level, and he has the skill to do much more … Described as a character player by his coaches, but he’s had several off-ice incidents over the years that have cast a shadow on his reputation.

The Red Wings drafted Sheahan in the hopes he’d become a big-bodied scorer in the mold of Johan Franzen. Up until he cracked their roster halfway through the 2013-14 season, his underwhelming production indicated he might be limited to a checking-line role. But he showed off impressive skills while producing at a 46-point clip as an NHL rookie and is already a quality two-way center. No longer waiver exempt, Sheahan will be a Red Wings regular in 2014-15.

Player statistics powered by

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2006-2007 St. Catharines Falc. Mn Mdgt AAA SCTAMM 46 33 42 75 80 |          
 2007-2008 St. Catharines Falcons GHL 45 22 39 61 39 | Playoffs 16 5 10 15 14 
 2008-2009 St. Catharines Falcons GOJHL 40 27 46 73 55 | Playoffs 11 8 5 13 30 
 2009-2010 Univ. of Notre Dame NCAA 37 6 11 17 22 |          
 2010-2011 Univ. of Notre Dame NCAA 40 5 17 22 28 |          
 2011-2012 Univ. of Notre Dame NCAA 37 9 16 25 24 |          
  Detroit Red Wings NHL 1 0 0 0 4 |         -
  Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 7 1 1 2 0 |          
 2012-2013 Detroit Red Wings NHL 1 0 0 0 0 |          
  Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 72 16 20 36 33 | Playoffs 24 3 13 16 10 
 2013-2014 Detroit Red Wings NHL 42 9 15 24 6 | Playoffs 5 0 0 0
  Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 31 8 10 18 12 | Playoffs 8 1 4 5
 2014-2015 Detroit Red Wings NHL 22 4 6 10 4 |          

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