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Edmonton Oilers sign defensive specialist Riley Sheahan

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Riley Sheahan has been reunited with the man who drafted him into the NHL.

“He definitely kick-started my career for me,” Sheahan said of Edmonton Oilers General Manager Ken Holland, who drafted Sheahan 21st overall while with Detroit in 2010.

“We built a good relationship. He treats his players very respectfully.”

Sheahan, 27, spent last season with Pittsburgh and Detroit. He finished with nine goals and 10 assists in 82 games, though he was primarily used in a defensive role.

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“That’s part of the game I take pride in. For me coming to Edmonton, I like the idea of giving Connor (McDavid) and (Leon) Draisaitl a bit of relief, and (Ryan) Nugent-Hopkins, in the D zone. They can focus more on the offensive side of things,” Sheahan said.

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Sheahan, who was 52.3 per cent in the face-off dot in 2018/19, will also be relied on to improve the Oilers penalty kill, which was the second worst in the NHL last season.

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“You go out there and take pride in it. You build momentum for the team,” Sheahan said.

“It’s not the most fun part of the game, but when you can go out there and block some shots and kill some penalties in a crucial part of the game, you feel good about yourselves. The team can take that and roll with it.”

Sheahan’s deal is reportedly worth $900,000.