With the 21st pick in the 2010 SB Nation Mock NHL Draft, Winging it in Motown is proud to select Riley Sheahan on behalf of the Detroit Red Wings.
Much has been made about a team with a deep talent pool taking a flyer on the highly skilled, but oft-troubled, Kirill Kabanov, but Sheahan is a classic Red Wings pick. No, he's not a defenseman (of the last nine first round draft picks made by the Wings, 8 have been defensemen), but he is a collegiate player, giving him and the team the entire duration of his eligibility -- rather than the usual two years -- to make a decision about signing him to a pro contract. Knowing the Red Wings' penchant for allowing prospects to over-ripen, someone with three years left at Notre Dame could be an attractive commodity.
As a freshman this past season, Riley Sheahan stepped onto Notre Dame's squad and made an impact. His play has been described as "man among boys," with good two-way skill. Sound familiar?
Assistant General Manager Jim Nill, who runs the draft for the Wings, has made it clear that they'll be selecting the best player available at 21, and it's hard to imagine a better player falls. ISS has him listed as the 22nd best player available, but some mock drafts have him going in the top dozen. Having just turned 18 in December, it's fair to assume he may add a few more pounds to his 6'2", 200 pound frame -- and if he improves on his finishing ability, he could develop into a big bodied scoring threat with defensive prowess. Not bad for the 21st pick...
If he's setting off your Brendan Smith Alarm, it's probably because of the public intoxication arrest this past April. While partying in South Bend with friends and teammates (including Anaheim Ducks first round pick Kyle Palmieri), a trio of Fighting Irish were charged with various alcohol-related offenses. Full disclosure, people!
To read more about Riley Sheahan, visit Western College Hockey Blog -- who compares the player to Ryan Kesler -- or his profile page at Notre Dame Athletics.