Capitals sign winger Conor Sheary to $735,000, 1-year deal

  • Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary (43) skates during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes) Jeffrey T. Barnes—AP

Published: 12/23/2020 3:55:38 PM

Washington signed winger Conor Sheary to a $735,000, one-year contract Tuesday, giving the Capitals additional forward depth going into training camp and the 56-game 2021 season.

Sheary played for Buffalo and Pittsburgh last season, finishing with 10 goals and 13 assists in 63 games. He could start this season on Washington’s third line, replacing Ilya Kovalchuk.

The 28-year-old Sheary has 72 goals and 78 assists in 325 career games. The former UMass Minuteman has made 61 playoff appearances, winning the Stanley Cup twice with Pittsburgh.

Washington signed Sheary days after veteran goaltender Henrik Lundqvist revealed a heart condition would prevent him from suiting up for the Capitals this season. Lundqvist signed a $1.5 million, one-year deal in October.

Sheary captained UMass during his senior year (2013-14). The Melrose native became the first UMass player to post a 50-point NHL season, logging 23 goals and 30 assists for 53 points, including six game-winning tallies, in 2016-17. He was +24 over 61 regular season contests that year.

Sheary made his NHL debut on Dec. 16, 2015, and appeared in 44 regular season games with Pittsburgh in 2015-16 as a rookie, logging 10 points. He tallied 10 points over 23 postseason games in the squad’s 2016 Stanley Cup run.

In July 2015, Sheary received a two-year entry-level NHL contract with the Penguins, remaining with the organization that first signed him following the conclusion of his senior season at UMass.

Sheary finished his four-year collegiate career with 104 points on 38 goals and 66 assists, including 12 power-play tallies, three short-handed goals and three game winners. He became the 12th player in UMass history to reach the century mark in points and ranks in the top-15 all-time in career assists, points, short-handed goals, power-play goals and goals.

Sheary missed just one of a possible 139 games over his four seasons with the Minutemen and played in the last 133 straight. As a senior in 2013-14, he led UMass in scoring with 28 points on nine goals and a squad-best 19 assists.

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