26-Year-Old Center – Pittsburgh Penguins
Riley Sheahan Contract Information:
Re-signed with the Red Wings on a two-year, $4.15 million contract in June of 2016.
Sheahan was held off the scoresheet in the Penguins' second-round series versus Washington.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Sheahan put pen to paper on a new contract following the conclusion of the 2015-16 season – he’ll cost the Red Wings $4.15 million over the next two years, which is relatively cheap considering his two-way talents. The 24-year-old has steadily increased his goal-scoring totals since his NHL career began in 2011-12, having found the back of the net 14 times in the most recent campaign. His power-play ice time dropped substantially following the coaching change from Mike Babcock to Jeff Blashill, though it was simply a matter of tweaking his role for the sake of having a stable presence on the penalty kill. Role players like Sheahan tend to get slighted in the fantasy realm, but he’ll be used in all situations and warrants a pick in the middle to late rounds.
Sheahan, a 2010 first-round draft pick, was a reliable, if unspectacular contributor in his first full NHL season in 2014-15, netting 13 goals and 36 points in 79 games. Though he's just 23 years old, it's unlikely Sheahan ever develops into a true fantasy star at the center position, but he should enjoy a long, productive career as the Wings' second-line pivot and as a viable member of the secondary power-play unit. With Pavel Datsyuk (ankle) expected to miss the first month of the season, Sheahan should stick in a top-six role initially, but Datsyuk's eventual return figures to push the young center to the third line now that offseason acquisition Brad Richards is in the fold. That could be enough to prevent Sheahan from noticing a pronounced spike in production, but it shouldn't be interpreted as a disappointment if it happens.
Sheahan was part of the youth revolution in Detroit in 2013-14, registering 24 points in 42 games with the Red Wings. The line of Sheahan, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar was dynamite during the regular season, but the former has a little more competition at center than either of the latter have on the wing. Sheahan will have to fight for a roster spot in the fall, but certainly has the talent to make the team and the chemistry to persist with his linemates from the spring.
Sheahan briefly saw time with the Red Wings in 2012-13, but was sent back down to get more experience. He is likely to stay in Grand Rapids for that very reason in 2013-14.