Conor Sheary

Hometown:

Melrose Massachusetts

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1992-06-08

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2010

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

Height:

5-9

Acquired:

Signed as free agent, 2015.

Weight:

175 lbs.

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History

2007-08: Conor Sheary played prep school hockey for Cushing Academy in Massachusetts. Skating for the Penguins varsity team as a sophomore, he scored 2 goals with 2 assists in 29 games. Cushing finished 17-10-2, missing out on a New England Prep playoff spot after a 9-5 loss to an Andover Academy team that featured future Boston College and New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider. 

2008-09: Sheary had a breakout junior season at Cushing Academy, leading the Penguins in scoring. He scored 16 goals with 27 assists in 31 games. Cushing missed the New England Prep playoffs, finishing 16-12-3. 

2009-10: Sheary finished one point behind Niagara University recruit and fellow senior Mike Conderman for the scoring lead for Cushing Academy and was named to the New England Prep all-star team. In 31 games he scored 30 goals, sharing the team lead with Conderman with 41 assists. Cushing just missed the Elite 8 Tournament in New England prep hockey, receiving  the first-seed in the Large School Tournament. The Penguins defeated Deerfield, 4-2, before falling to Berkshire, 3-2, in the semifinals to finish the year with a 22-7-2 record. Sheary, who played hockey and baseball at Cushing, committed to playing college hockey at Massachusetts-Amherst in 2010-11. 

2010-11: Sheary skated in 34 of 35 games for the University of Massachusetts-Amherst as a freshman. Skating in primarily a second and third line role in what was a difficult season for the Minutemen, he scored 6 goals with 8 assists and was -5 with 12 penalty minutes.  Massachusetts-Amherst qualified for the Hockey East playoffs despite winning just six games and was swept by eventual national champion Boston College in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

2011-12: Sheary was the second-leading scorer behind senior T.J. Syner in his sophomore season at Massachusetts-Amherst. In 36 games he scored 12 goals with 23 assists and was +15 with 10 penalty minutes. The Minutemen were tied for eighth with Northeastern but advanced to the Hockey East tournament due to tiebreaker criteria and were again swept by Boston College in the  quarterfinals.

2012-13: Sheary was one of the key forwards for Massachusetts-Amherst in new head coach John Micheletto’s first season after replacing long-time coach Don “Toot” Cahoon. Sheary was the Minutemen’s second-leading scorer behind center Branden Gracel, who led Massachusetts-Amherst with 34 points. Sheary scored 11 goals with 16 assists and was -6 with 29 penalty minutes. The Minutemen missed the Hockey East tournament after finishing in ninth place. 

2013-14: Sheary made his pro hockey debut with Penguins’ AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in April following his senior season at Massachusetts-Amherst. He had no points nor penalties with five shots on goal and an even plus/minus in two AHL regular season games before finishing as the Penguins’ third-leading scorer in the Calder Cup playoffs. Sheary scored 6 goals with 5 assists and was +4 with no penalties in 15 playoff games as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. Sheary scored 9 goals with 19 assists and was -4 with 2 penalty minutes in 34 games for Massachusetts-Amherst in his final season of college hockey. The Minutemen finished 10th in the expanded Hockey East Conference, falling 2-1 to 7th-place Vermont in a tournament play-in game. 

2014-15: Sheary was invited to Pittsburgh’s training camp and signed an AHL contract with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Skating in 58 of 76 regular games in his first pro season, he led the Penguins in scoring with 20 goals and 25 assists and had an even plus/minus with 8 penalty minutes. The Penguins finished second in the East Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Sheary scored 5 goals with 7 assists and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in eight playoff games. Pittsburgh signed Sheary to a two-year, entry-level contract in July 2015.

2015-16: Sheary made his NHL debut with the Penguins on December 16th in a game against Boston. One of the first players re-called from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton when that club’s head coach Mike Sullivan took over in Pittsburgh after Mike Johnston was fired, Sheary saw regular ice time as the Penguins turned their season around. He scored 7 goals with 3 assists and was -1 with 8 penalty minutes, averaging 9:45 minutes in 44 regular season games. Skating on a line with Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist during the playoffs, he scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was +1 with 6 penalty minutes through the Penguins’ first nine post-season games. Sheary scored 7 goals with 29 assists and was +8 with 4 penalty minutes in 30 AHL games prior to being recalled. 

Talent Analysis

Sheary is a diminutive, but skilled forward who was highly productive at both the NCAA and AHL levels. Despite being 5’9, he has a fairly thick build and is able to weave through traffic without taking too much punishment. He is an excellent puck-handler and can play multiple positions at forward. He also has good hands and seems to do a good job anticipating where the puck will go.

Future

Sheary joined the Penguins in December 2015 from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and was a contributor to Pittsburgh's big turnaround in 2015-16. One of three rookies along with Bryan Rust and Tom Kuhnhackl who began the season in the AHL under head coach Mike Sullivan, all three saw significant ice time during Pittsburgh's torrid second-half finish. He has flourished playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist, providing speed and a high level of hockey intellect to compliment their skills.

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