After a down year, that saw a decline in both production and possession stats, Riley Sheahan still didn’t have too poor of a season. What is possibly coming down the pike for him? Does he have room for growth? Can he develop another gear on this team?
As you can see in the Hero Chart, Sheahan is fairly underrated over the course of his career. While he is only entering his prime now, it can be surmised that Sheahan has had a career that has gone largely under-appreciated from people outside of Detroit. He is perfect as a middle six center and he has had possession numbers that are bordering on a first line player. This makes him a perfect candidate to move up and down the lineup, basically being used in a utility role.
Sheahan was never someone who bashed down doors at Notre Dame and he was never someone who impressed while down in Grand Rapids. He just kept his head down and chipped away. Eventually, he broke through and became the player he is for the Detroit Red Wings. Normally, you see players with large point totals breaking in and sticking in the league. Sheahan is against type and it makes him all the better to root for.
all stats are at even strength and provided by waronice.com
His CFRel% is not great and his CF% is below his normal average. The team was better with him off the ice, but not by a large amount. The only indication I get from looking at these numbers was that, he succeeded while on the ice and the team did fine without him all the same. He wasn’t the straw that broke the camels back.
This may explain why his point totals were down for Sheahan this past year. His GF%Rel is one of the lowest on the team. He was getting scored on at a rate that he hadn’t seen in the past. It wasn’t for lack of the puck being on his stick, his possession numbers say as much. This looks to me like a stroke of bad luck.
This further lends credence that Sheahan was experiencing a fair amount of bad luck this season. The Scoring Chances were coming and his line was getting their fair share while he was on the ice. A down year doesn’t look nearly as bad after seeing these underlying numbers.
Expect Sheahan to up his point totals and be more of a “contributor” next year. His point totals were fine for now but they will surely bounce back. He will continue to be the utility player they need. The very definition of what a glue guy should be.
Everyone on the Red Wings seemingly had a down year, Sheahan wasn’t an exception. Seeing what he did in a down year should still be encouraging to the Detroit front office.
While disappointing, he still was effective in his time on ice. A bit of bad luck but it was something he wasn’t in control of, so why punish him for it? He is probably one of the best values at the middle six center spot. The value he brings is invaluable to this organization, let’s see if he can build upon it.