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Wings' top pick is a YouTube hit

Sheahan dazzles with stick-handling moves

Thursday, 07.8.2010 / 2:04 PM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - Intern
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Wings\' top pick is a YouTube hit
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DETROIT – A 37-second video clip on YouTube (WATCH BELOW) shows a 15-year-old Riley Sheahan perform dazzling moves with a stick and puck in the driveway of his parent’s home in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Even though it’s already garnered more than 13,000 views, the Red Wings’ top 2010 draft pick would rather no one know about it.

“I wish I could take it off right now, but I don’t know how to take it off YouTube,” he laughed. “It was a few years ago, all the kids thought it was pretty impressive, but if you look at it now, it looks pretty embarrassing.”

The 18-year-old Sheahan, who was the No. 21 overall pick last month in Los Angeles, has matured a lot since a friend of his filmed the clip. He’s coming off his freshman year at the University of Notre Dame, where he tallied six goals and 11 assists in 37 games for the Fighting Irish.

“Playing against older guys, you’re playing some teams with 24, 25, 26-year-olds,” Sheahan said. “So it was definitely a really big learning experience, seeing them with full facial hair. I can barely grow anything. It was definitely intimidating, but once you get on the ice, the fear kind of went away and the adrenaline kind of kicked in.”

Before heading to South Bend campus, he was known for his offensive prowess. Sheahan led the St. Catharines Falcons in scoring after the 2008-09 season with 73 points in 40 games.

At Notre Dame, however, he not only had to adjust to a more defensive-minded style, but he also had to live on his own before he could even legally enter a casino.

His Irish-Catholic family highly values education, with both his parents being teachers. And Sheahan is grateful for the maturity he gained from college, although initially, it was tough for him to get used to the student-athlete grind.

“We were going from one place to another, first from working out to class, and then to the rink,” he said. “It was definitely intimidating, moving away from home for the first time, and just being a little smaller than the guys going in there.

“It was a lot of responsibility, and there was a lot of your shoulders. But I definitely think I matured as a person, so it was good.”

Sheahan’s offensive production fell during his freshman campaign, but he sharpened his skills as a responsible two-way player – even seeing some time on the blue line against Michigan.

“That was crazy,” he said. “I had some of the best players coming down on me full speed, and I think the first shift I got a penalty.”

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound center worked hard to keep up with the older players, gaining physical strength with Notre Dame’s off-ice strength training program. And the Wings’ staff has already noticed after just the first day of development camp.

“He looked terrific out there,” said Curt Fraser, the coach of the Wings’ Grand Rapids affiliate, who is running this week’s camp. “Big, strong skater, great shot, he’s got a lot of good tools.”

Sheahan knows that he has to refine his skills and together with his size blend them into an NHL-caliber player.

“I take pride in my size, and I like to use it to my advantage,” he said. “So I think it’ll help me, and hopefully help the organization in a few years.”

But first, he would like to prove that he can be a responsible player, which he plans to work on during his upcoming sophomore campaign.

“I really, really want to work on my offensive ability,” Sheahan said. “I just want to get that chance to bury the puck. I think there’s a few adjustments I need to do skating-wise, just from the stopping position and getting up to full speed, and the first few strides.”

He plans to keep developing for the next few seasons at Notre Dame before potentially heading to Detroit.

“I’m just going to be working every day,” Sheahan said. “Hopefully I’ll be here in two years, a year or two, and work my way up from the AHL.”

And why not? He’s already worked his way out of his parent’s driveway.




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
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