The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forwards Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Dominik Kahun, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Sheary's contract runs through the 2019-20 campaign, and it has an average annual value of $3 million. Rodrigues is also signed through 2019-20 for an average annual value of $2 million.
"Conor returns as a known face to our team and a player familiar with winning," said Jim Rutherford. "Evan is a skilled winger that can play any forward position and adds to our depth up front."
A two-time Stanley Cup Champion with Pittsburgh, the 27-year old Sheary returns for his second tour of duty with the Penguins after spending the last season-and-a-half with the Sabres, where he recorded 53 points (23G-30A) in 133 games. This season, he is tied for sixth among Sabres forwards with nine goals and 10 assists in 53 games. He is one goal shy of hitting the 10-goal plateau for the fourth-consecutive campaign.
Sheary took part in 45 playoff games during the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, putting up 17 points (6G-11A), while helping the Penguins capture back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. Playing in all six 2017 Stanley Cup Final games against the Nashville Predators, he scored goals in Games 1 and 5, and tacked on an assist in the Penguins' Game 2 win.
As a rookie forward in the 2016 playoffs, Sheary played in 23 games, recording 10 points (4G-6A). He scored two goals in the Stanley Cup Final as the Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks in six games. Sheary's biggest goal of his career came in overtime of Game 2 of the Cup Final. With the top-shelf winner, he became the first rookie to score an OT marker in the Cup Final since 1986.
In the 2016-17 regular season, the 5-foot-8, 179-pound Sheary enjoyed a breakout season. He set career highs in games played (61), goals (23), assists (30), points (53), and plus-minus (+24). His plus-24 was the best among Pens forwards, and sixth among all NHL forwards. Sheary finished the season tied for third on the team in goals with Phil Kessel, and his 53 points were fourth overall on the club behind Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kessel.
A native of Winchester, Mass., Sheary has played 317 regular-season games between Pittsburgh and Buffalo, recording 146 points (71G-75A) and is plus-3, while 19.7% of Sheary's goals in his career have been game winners (14/71). He has 57 games of playoffs experience under his belt, all with Pittsburgh, where he's registered 19 points (6G-13A).
Sheary originally joined the Penguins organization as an undrafted free agent on a minor-league deal with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League back in 2014. Sheary then earned his first NHL contract after leading WBS in scoring during both the regular season and playoffs in his first full professional season in 2014-15.
Rodrigues, 26, has picked up nine points (5G-4A) in 38 games with the Sabres in 2019-20. He enjoyed a career season with Buffalo last year, registering nine goals, 20 assists and 29 points. He also led all Sabres skaters in 2018-19 with three shorthanded points (3A).
The 5-foot-11, 184-pound Rodrigues has suited up for 192 career NHL games, where he's recorded 26 goals, 45 assists, 71 points. At the AHL level, the Toronto, Ontario native has 70 points (23G-47A) in 128 career games with the Rochester Americans.
Rodrigues originally signed with Buffalo as an undrafted free agent after an exceptional collegiate career with Boston University from 2011-15. Over the course of four seasons, Rodrigues picked up 121 points (42G-79A) in 146 games. He served as an alternate captain for the Terriers in '14-15, helping them to the NCAA Hockey East Championship. That season, only teammate Jack Eichel (71) finished with more points than Rodrigues' 61 (21G-40A) in all of D1 college hockey.