The 2015-16 season wasn’t just when the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup: it was also a coming out party for a number of their rookies.
Take Conor Sheary, for example. He started that season in the AHL, scoring 36 points over 30 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He played the rest of his season - 44 games’ worth - in the NHL, putting up 10 points as he did so.
That’s not bad, especially for an undrafted player just getting his first taste. Though another 10 points in 23 playoff games? That spoke a bit louder.
Well, now he’s Sidney Crosby’s linemate - and he has 31 points in 38 games. He’s fifth in Penguins scoring. Go by just goals - of which he has 15 - and he’s third.
That’s a hell of a way to establish oneself in this league. And another little quirk to his second-year status, via the Elias Sports Bureau:
Sheary’s two-goal game was his second in the last five days (his second goal on Monday was the OT winner in the Penguins’ 8–7 victory against Washington) and third this season. He’s tied for the most multiple-goal games this season among NHL “sophomores” ... The other “sophs” with three multi-goal games are Nikolaj Ehlers, Jack Eichel and Robby Fabbri.
I should point out that, while no doubt playing alongside Crosby helps, Ehlers was a ninth overall pick, Eichel second overall, and Fabbri 21st overall - and Sheary, the little undrafted forward, is keeping pace with them.
He’s been awesome. Here’s to more of that.