Conor Sheary Aims To Make An Impression

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Conor Sheary took the AHL by storm in the postseason. He's looking to follow it up in 2014-15. Photo Credit: @ItsJacki.
Conor Sheary came into the professional ranks with a bang last spring in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL) after signing an amateur tryout contract following his fourth year at UMass-Amherst.

At one point in the 2014 AHL playoffs, he had compiled an eight game points scoring streak before an official scoring change cut the streak in half. Sheary finished the postseason with 11 points (6G-5A) in 15 games, tied for second most goals along with rookie Anton Zlobin.

Entering the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs, Sheary had but two games of AHL experience.

"Getting thrown into it like that was a little difficult," Sheary said. "It was a good experience and a good opportunity for me."

Sheary made the most of his opportunity and then some, appearing in more pro games (17) than any of the other incoming rookie forwards combined.
Penguins crop of young, quick forwards (pro games in 2013-14) - Josh Archibald (9), Bryan Rust (3), Scott Wilson (1), Matia Marcantuoni (1), J.S. Dea (1).
Listed at 5-8, and 175 pounds puts Sheary in that undersized category, but his battle and compete level didn't disappoint in the 2014 postseason and particularly in the Penguins second round series against the Providence Bruins. In the seven-game Eastern Conference Semifinal, Sheary tallied five goals and two assists in the seven games including a goal in both Games Six and Seven.

"Getting thrown into it is one thing, but obviously getting the opportunity was the biggest thing for me," Sheary said.

Coming off the experience Sheary had at UMass-Amherst - playing four years in Hockey-East - had to help ease the transition. As soon as I mentioned the school and playing hockey there he was quick to talk about it and had many nice things to say.

"It was an awesome experience. Going there for four years and then getting the captaincy senior year was awesome," Sheary said. "I couldn't have asked for a better place to go."
Though Sheary was thankful for the opportunity he received in getting into the AHL Penguins lineup and getting an AHL contract for the 2014-15 season, he also was quick to mention at development camp that he still is working toward the ultimate goal of any pro hockey player - earning an NHL contract and fighting for a chance to play in the NHL.

With 48 guys currently under an NHL contract with Pittsburgh and two restricted free agents yet to re-sign (Brandon Sutter and Nic Spaling), the Penguins are right up against the maximum of 50 NHL contracts. They can open up as many as three spots on the 50-man list if and when Tristan Jarry returns to his WHL team and forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Oskar Sundqvist return overseas.

Under contract in the AHL and going through development camp and now getting ready for the rookie tournament, Sheary sees every opportunity as a chance to make an impression. He arrives at a good time as several forward prospects (mentioned above) are turning pro and under new faces in the coaching staff and management.

As for what Sheary is looking to get out of these camps, including the upcoming rookie Tournament in London, Ontario in about six weeks?

"A little exposure," Sheary said. "I want these guys to see me. I want the new coaches, new GM,  I want everyone to see me. I'm looking at this as an opportunity for myself and hopefully it works out."


Post a Comment