It isn’t strange to see an American hockey players forgo college and go north to play in the major junior hockey leagues in Canada but for a Canadian that is a top prospect to decide to come south to go to college in the States is almost unheard of players near the top of the draft pecking order.
That decision seems like it may come back to haunt the big center from St. Catharine’s, Ontario. At the mid-season rankings by the NHL Central Scouting, Riley Sheahan looked to be a player that the Blue Jackets may select at the number four slot as he was ranked fifth. Sheahan has dived down the rankings going from fifth to 22nd in the final rankings by Central Scouting. The reason for the free fall starts with Sheahan’s struggles to score as a freshman with the Fighting Irish as he only posted 6 goals and 17 points overall in 37 games. Then add in an intoxication charge in April and that puts enough red flags for general managers to lose some excitement over the prospect.
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It’s not all bad news for Sheahan as he didn’t turn into a complete stiff from when he got a mid-term ranking of fifth. Scouts told me that they still see flashes of scoring ability. Where they really like him is in the defensive zone.