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2014 NHL Draft Prospect: Tyler Sheehy

Matt Christians

The Player

Tyler Sheehy

Forward

Waterloo Blackhawks(USHL)

2013-2014 stats: 49 games 21 goals 29 assists 49 points 4 PIMs

Height: 5'9"  Weight: 180 lbs.

Final NHL Central Scouting Rank: 200th among NA skaters

What are his strengths? Weakness?

Sheehy isn't a player that immediately jumps out at you as an elite talent, but on closer viewing, he has absolutely tremendous hockey sense. He sees the whole ice very well and is always making smart, effective plays. While not a very physical player, he does compete hard for the puck, and is reliable on his own end of the ice.

Size will be one of the biggest areas of concern surrounding Sheehy. He wasn't invited to the NHL Combine, so there's no official height/weight, but Central Scouting did measure him this fall as part of the Elite League, where he measured 5'9" 180 lbs. Sheehy's skating is serviceable, but not really outstanding for a player of his size.

How was his draft year? Trending upward or down?

Sheehy spent the fall playing in the Upper Midwest Elite League for high school players, before making the decision to move on to Waterloo in the USHL two weeks before the high school season. That proved to be a great move, as Sheehy scored 49 points in 50 games in the USHL regular season. That was good for 20th in league scoring, despite missing 10 games in the fall, and only Kyle Connor, Nick Schmaltz, Liam Pecararo and JJ Piccinich outscored him among first year draft eligibles or younger. He added 15 more points in 12 games in the playoffs, which was the second-best playoff performance in the league.

Showing he could score and be effective in the more physical USHL did wonders to help Sheehy's draft stock, and at least partially alleviate some of the concerns about his size.

Draft projection?

Sheehy was ranked 200 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in their final rankings, which is not-guaranteed-to-be-drafted territory. But Central Scouting tends to be less favorable towards smaller forwards, especially ones that don't play in the CHL. Last year, Central Scouting kept Taylor Cammarata, another small forward that played in Waterloo, off their mid-term rankings completely before ranking him 193rd in the final rankings and Cammarata ended up being selected in the third round last year.

Sheehy isn't the same type of player as Cammarata, and going in the third round seems unlikely, but with his strong end of the season, he should probably picked somewhere in the draft, likely in the last three rounds.

Pro upside?

This is the area where we square up the great USHL season with the relatively low draft projection. Sheehy was very effective at the USHL level, but without pro-style size, or elite skating ability, there are going to be questions about where he would fit in at the pro level. He's essentially a bit of a tweener in that he's not quite skilled enough for his offense to justify a spot on a scoring line at the NHL level, but also doesn't quite play the type of game you'd normally expect from a third or fourth line player. There's enough upside with his scoring ability to take a gamble on late in the draft, but the odds of him ever reaching that potential are relatively low.

Where will he go next?

Sheehy originally committed to Ohio State, but re-opened his recruitment after Ohio State fired head coach and fellow Burnsville-native Mark Osiecki. This past season, he committed to his hometown University of Minnesota. Minnesota has a surplus of forwards at the moment, so Sheehy will likely head back to Waterloo for another season, unless the Gophers are hit with some unexpected departures to the pros. Sheehy still has a lot to prove before he's ready for the pro game so it might be four or five years down the road before the team that drafts him thinks about signing him.