Red Wings Assistant GM Jim Nill said he was looking for size, speed, and skill with their 21st pick, and he got what he wanted.
Detroit selected Notre Dame forward Riley Sheahan (6'2", 202 lbs.) based on several factors, both on and off the ice.
"He's a big strong kid, he's advanced physically, he's been a big scorer where he's come from," explained Nill. "He's a character kid, he's going to Notre Dame, it's a good school, and he's got a good family background."
As promising as Sheahan is, Jim Nill said that, though he will participate in the Red Wings' prospect camp July 8-13, he likely won't see any time with the big club for a while.
"We'll be patient with him," said Nill.
Sheahan said that being selected by Detroit is a dream come true for him.
"It's unbelievable," said Sheahan, "these guys are one of the best teams in the NHL. They've had some of the greatest players; Steve Yzerman, Pavel Datsyuk. I'm really looking forward to getting this opportunity."
Sheahan said that, like all young hockey players, he's dreamed about being drafted into the NHL, but the reality that it has happened is still a bit overwhelming.
"It's surreal," Sheahan explained. "Everything is so overwhelming and, as a kid, you dream of this and [now that] the day has come, it's crazy. I almost blacked out when I was walking up the stairs [to the draft stage]."
Though he understands he's likely a few years away from cracking the Red Wings roster, Sheahan is confident in his abilities and knows what he brings to a team.
"I'm a big player, I like to use my size. I'm a pass first, shoot second guy, I like to make my teammates better, I like to be responsible in my own end and be part of the physical play. I like to be a leader in the dressing room and have the respect of my teammates."
Spoken like a true Red Wing.
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