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2020-21 Rink Wrap: Conor Sheary

From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2020-21 season for every player who laced ‘em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2021-22. Next up, Conor Sheary.

Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins - Game Four Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Stats:

Regular Season


The Charts:

via Evolving-Hockey
via HockeyViz

The Key Stat: Conor Sheary scored 13 even-strength goals in 2020-21, was tied with Daniel Sprong for second-most on the team (behind only Alex Ovechkin’s 14, naturally).

The Good: After a bit of a rough run in 2019-20 and an uncertain offseason, Sheary landed with the Caps in December of last year - and it ended up being a solid move for both player and team. Even in the shortened season, Sheary’s 14 goals were the third-most of his career, and put him on pace for a 20+ goal campaign had they played the full 82. He also boasted the team’s second-best ixG rate of 8.89, behind only (who else?) Ovechkin.

Sheary was strong on both sides of the puck, and for a relatively diminutive player, surprisingly tough to get the puck away from. In fact, he was credited with just eight giveaways all season - a rate of .66 giveaways per 60, one of just 35 players in the NHL at that rate or lower (min. 30 games played). Sheary was also one of five Caps - three of whom appeared in fewer than 20 games with the team - to crack 53% in even-strength CF.

The Bad: For the most part, there wasn’t much to complain about when it came to Sheary. He was versatile and capable of chipping in offense, even earning some power play time, and played much bigger than his size, earning the coaching staff’s trust and a new two-year deal. He was as advertised and then some... until the playoffs. That old chestnut.

In the Caps’ brief outing against the Bruins, Sheary managed just five shots on net and picked up a single goal and no assist. And while plus-minus has its flaws, showing up at either extreme can be telling - and Sheary was a team-worst -4 in the five games (tied with Brenden Dillon). Granted, he did suffer from a brutal on-ice save percentage by his netminders, who stopped just 86.8% of shots faced when he was in front of them, but he didn’t help his own cause by posting a -1.6 relCF, the lowest of any of his five postseason stints.

The Video:

Here’s Sheary doing what he does best - beating up on a former team:

The Discussion: After signing a new two-year deal back in the spring, are you confident that the Caps will protect Sheary in this summer’s expansion draft? Do you think Sheary is capable of filling a top-six role for the Caps or are his talents better used on the team’s third/fourth line? Finally, what would it take for you to give Sheary a 10 next season?

The Vote: Rate Conor Sheary below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.


How do you rate Conor Sheary’s 2020-21 season?

This poll is closed

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105 votes total Vote Now