Florida Panthers 20 under 21: #12 - Patrick Shea

Prospect has some scoring potential

A prolific goal-scorer on the New England Prep School circuit, Patrick Shea will now ply his trade in Orono, Maine for the University of Maine Black Bears. There is reason to be excited.

#12 - Patrick Shea - forward- University of Maine (NCAA)

Highest Ranking: 13  Lowest Ranking : 14

He is not the biggest Florida Panthers prospect- at 5’11” and 186 lbs. He was not a draft pick that raised eyebrows- as a 7th Rounder (#192 overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Yet, Patrick Shea is emerging as a player to watch as he embarks on his journey into NCAA hockey in Hockey East.

Let me explain my excitement about Shea to you this way: when I typically go to a development or rookie camp, I try to look at the ice for that “who is that?” moment. This July, that moment came in the form of Chris Wilkie, a Panthers prospect about to play his second year at the University of North Dakota. So... why am I speaking about Wilkie in an article about Shea?

Wilkie grabbed my attention at this year’s development camp- he was exciting to watch and showed great creativity. He is also similar in size, and style to Shea. But, one could quickly deduce that the big difference between the two players is that Wilkie has a season of development at UND under his belt, and Shea has been playing against prep-school kids and some of New England’s best U18 players. That difference was obvious. Wilkie is used to being attacked by big, strong, fast players- Shea is not... yet. Both players possess quickness and vision and a nose for the net that is similar to Kyle Rau (although Rau made far more of his living around the net than on the approaches).

Shea is that kind of player. He attacks hard down the wings with a high skill set and quickness. He is tenacious and driven. What he lacks right now is what Wilkie has developed: Shea is too easy to take pucks away from by big, seasoned defensemen, while Wilkie is hard to move. Nonetheless, It is evident that several years at the University of Maine will likely do wonders for a player of Shea’s caliber. Maine head coach Red Gendron is happy to have this right-shot, Massachusetts native coming aboard:

Coach Gendron spoke highly of Shea stating,  "Patrick Shea possesses great speed, is highly skilled and loves to go to the net. His combination of skill and physical toughness will make him a fan favorite."

Hockey’s Future described similar attributes:

his offensive skill set and competitive approach suggest a significant upside for a seventh-round pick.

Indeed those skills and tenacity were on full display at development camp. That same article evaluated his talent:

Shea is a very under-developed prospect, having yet to play against high-level competition, but he has speed and skill to go along with a good work ethic. He is a little undersized physically, but is elusive. It’s hard to project just how good he can, however, because he has yet to really be challenged.

Patrick led his team (last season) in penalty minutes, primarily due to his tenacious play. His high school coach echoed the general sentiment about Shea’s aggressive and committed style of play:

"Pat is a very strong kid with a great work ethic. He is a great competitor and hates to lose. He is very coachable, and a kid every coach wants on his team because you know he will do the right thing."

In February, 2016, LBC’s own Todd Little spoke with  a few folks who know a thing or two about prospects to get an idea of what to expect in regard to this young prospect:

Panthers amateur scout Billy Ryan had this to sayKimball Union Academy's head coach Tim Whitehead added this about his captain

The scouting reports line up perfectly with the observations of Shea at Development Camp: this is a hard working, aggressive, highly-skilled player with good skating ability and ice vision. It was apparent that the only thing Shea was lacking was experience against bigger, stronger players. Much like what we can now see in fellow prospect Chris WIlkie- there is every reason to think that ingredient will come with a few years in Orono, Maine. Patrick Shea is a player to keep an eye on.