WBS Penguins Add UMass Captain Conor Sheary

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins didn't make any trades on AHL Trade Deadline Day, but that doesn't mean they won't add any new faces in their final 16 games this season. At this time of the year, several drafted and undrafted players from the college and junior ranks finish their respective seasons and turn pro.

UPDATE: Connor Sheary has joined WBS Penguins on an amateur tryout contract (ATO) for the rest of this season and looks to earn an AHL contract for next season.

There are several reports out of the northeast this afternoon that the Penguins have signed forward Conor Sheary, who just finished up a four-year career at the University of Massachusetts (UMass).

John Buccigross' latest on Twitter:
"UMASS Conor "thin mints" Sheary signs AHL deal with Wilkes-Barre"
Several of Sheary's UMass teammates have also been quick to congratulate Sheary on his first NHL contract on social media.

Sheary captained the UMass squad this season, tallying 28 points (9G-19A) in 34 games in the Hockey-East Conference. In four years at UMass, Sheary appeared in 138 games and tallied 104 points (38G-66A).

Sheary is an undersized forward at 5'9, but it seems like the kind of move Penguins GM Ray Shero has been accustomed to making - bring in a undrafted forward and give him a tour of the pro game with the AHL club.

It seems that has been a common move for the Pens. Other undrafted forwards brought in to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in recent years include Jayson Megna, Brian Gibbons, Adam Payerl and Paul Thompson. Former Penguin Mark Letestu was undrafted as well. There are plenty more on the list.

As for the kind of player Sheary is, I'll leave that to those who have seen him play this season and over the past four years at UMass.

Rich Murray, NCAA writer for Hockey's Future, had this to say about Sheary when I contacted him this afternoon:
"Small undersized player with a lot of skill and speed, similar to that of a guy like Brian Gibbons. Needs to get bigger and stronger like most college prospects." 
Also, Murray wrote this feature on Sheary last season: http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/80287/sheary-overcoming-small-stature-with-hard-work/

Here's a feature on Sheary back in January from UMass beat writer and sports editor at the college's daily collegian Nick Canelas: http://dailycollegian.com/2014/01/28/conor-sheary-seeks-memorable-finish-to-strong-career/

Sheary probably won't be the only guy coming to the AHL Penguins on some sort of tryout contract or entry level deal. Another notable forward that could be on his way is Matia Marcantuoni, whose season with the OHL's Kitchener Rangers ends Thursday night.


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