Penguins Place Rookie On Waivers For 2nd Time This Season

After paying his dues for three years in the American Hockey League, Ryan Shea finally got his first crack at an NHL job this season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was waived once, back in December, and cleared, now he'll face the waiver wire for a second time. 

As the seventh defenseman around the team, Shea was in and out of the Pens' lineup for the first two-plus months of the season.

After his December demotion to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, where he recorded six points in 22 games, the rookie 27-year-old was called up again at the beginning of April, and finished the season with a nice run in Pittsburgh as a regular on the third-pairing with fellow rookie Jack St. Ivany.

Penguins forward Rickard Rakell gave the pairing high praise recently. “Let me tell you something: They can play. As forwards, we are comfortable when we’re out there on the ice with them, because we know how solid they are. We trust those guys.”

Head coach Mike Sullivan also has said, “You earn a trust bank account with the coaching staff. They are earning that." The team went 6-2-1 in the games that Shea and St. Ivany were paired up down the stretch. 

Shea finished with a total of 31 games at the NHL level, notching one goal with a plus-1 rating, in an average of 12:37 time on ice per night.  

Unfortunately, the Pens just might lose Shea on waivers now heading into the offseason. But he's certainly proved that he belongs on an NHL roster.

The 6'2" left-shot D was selected in the 4th round in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. After spending four years at Northeastern University, he went on to play three seasons with the Texas Stars of the AHL.

Photo: © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports