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Top 25 Sharks Under 25: No. 25 Scott Reedy needs to make a name for himself

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The NCAA path may have given Reedy a place in the shadows. Can he step out of it in 2019?

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 24: Scott Reedy, 102nd overall pick of the San Jose Sharks, poses for a portrait during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Last year, we described Scott Reedy as a “perfect organizational fit.” Fresh from the NHL Draft and out of the USHL, Reedy was a big body, with a scoring touch that projected him to have a top-6 ceiling and a highly motivated work ethic. He was headed to the NCAA, giving the Sharks organization a few years to rearrange their plethora of forwards before finding out where Reedy would slide in eventually.

A year later, it’s not as though Reedy has fallen completely off that track — in fact, using Emmanuel Perry’s new NHLe scoring retention metric, Reedy ranks fairly well among Sharks prospects, with a 24.5 percent chance of making the NHL. But looking at raw numbers, he’s often eclipsed by other NCAA prospects like Maxim Letunov, Dylan Gambrell, and Josh Norris — all of whom have scored at a higher points per game rate in their college hockey careers than Reedy.

It seems that if he’s doing things right, he’s doing them quietly. With the University of Minnesota, he spent his rookie season on a line in the shadow of a much bigger name — Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt. Their top line (comprised entirely of homegrown Minnesota talent) was nicknamed the “RPM Line” and also included the team’s best scorer, Predators prospect Rem Pitlick.

Pitlick and Mittelstadt out-scored Reedy, both hitting the 30 point mark, while Reedy tallied half that — just 7 goals and 8 assists last season. It might appear as though Reedy benefits more from his linemates than they might benefit from him. That’s backed up by Evan Oppenheimer’s betweenness data, which measures a player’s impact on his team’s scoring rate and ranks Reedy near the bottom for the University of Minnesota last season:

This lines up with Oppenheimer’s USHL betweenness data, which saw Reedy drop from .1757 in 2016 to -.0317 in 2017.

The underlying numbers there don’t look great for Reedy. It’s possible that playing wing has been an adjustment for him when he’s a natural center, though generally that transition is easier than the reverse of a wing sliding into center. There’s also the argument that having two powerhouse players like Pitlick and Mittelstadt on the same line doesn’t give Reedy as much opportunity to be the player scoring goals, but he should still be able to drive play there and he’s taking a bit of a back seat to them instead.

Another concerning number: Reedy was second in penalty minutes on the Gophers, totaling 43 minutes, behind only defenseman and Bruins prospect Ryan Lindgren (51), showing a lack of discipline in his NCAA play.

What we like

This is a player who was once described by a USA Hockey coach as having top-line potential. You don’t get that praise out of nowhere (though that same coach did call him “an absolute moose to play against,” so there’s that). While this year hasn’t done much in the way of getting Reedy NHL-ready, the NCAA gives him a bit of time to keep working toward that.

Areas of improvement

Reedy needs to become more responsible for driving play and creating scoring, without making costly errors. The talent has been there in years prior, so whether he needs to get out of other players’ shadows or out of his own head, he needs to access it again to get back on track to reach his full potential.

Highlight

These clips from the USHL show the best of Reedy: knowing where to be and keeping his nose to the net. This is what keeps Reedy on our radar as an exciting prospect.

You can see a glimpse of that in Reedy’s power play goal against Josh Norris’ Michigan Wolverines:

It’s there. But hard work and consistency are going to be key for Reedy this upcoming season in Minnesota.