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Tough decision for Sheahan, but time to move on

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Former Notre Dame forward Riley Sheahan signed an entry-level contract with the Red Wings on Tuesday and will report to Grand Rapids this week. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)
The Red Wings signed Riley Sheahan to an amateur tryout Tuesday afternoon.


The Wings’ former first-round draft pick in 2010 finished his junior season at the University of Notre Dame last week when the Fighting Irish were eliminated in the CCHA playoffs.

“He’s a big, strong power forward and very responsible with the puck, good two-way defensively and still has good offensive skills,” Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said.

In three seasons with the Irish, Sheahan collected 20 goals and 44 assists in 114 collegiate games.

The 6-foot-2, 212-pound native of St. Catharine’s, Ontario will finish out the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Wings’ top minor-league affiliate in the American Hockey League.

“It’s obviously very exciting just to be in the organization and around all of these great players and I’ll just have to work my way up, and in a few years maybe get a chance to play in the big league," said Sheahan, who was studying sociology in South Bend. “Leaving Notre Dame was a tough decision. I made a lot of close friends there, met a lot of really nice people, but I think it was time to move on. My focus is on being a hockey player and I think the better atmosphere for that he being here.”

Though he averaged 21-points per season at the college level, Sheahan was a dynamite offensive weapon in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League where he had 49 goals and 85 assists in two seasons.
 
“That’s a little bit with the style of the team that he played on, college hockey is very tight, defensively and that’s kind of the style that you see down there,” Nill said. “He’s had a history of being a scorer ever since he was in Tier II.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill


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