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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  - DetroitRedWings.com 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.
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“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.


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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
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9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80